Donald Arthur Glaser (1926 – 2013) earned his PhD in Physics and Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in
1950 and won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the bubble chamber. He then changed his research focus to
molecular biology and went on to co-found Cetus Corporation, the first biotechnology company. In the 1980s he again switched
his focus to neurobiology and the visual system. The Donald A. Glaser papers consist of research notes and notebooks, manuscripts
and printed papers, correspondence, awards, biographical material, photographs, audio-visual material, and born-digital files.
Donald Arthur Glaser was born on September 21, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from
the Case School of Applied Science in 1946, and a PhD in Physics and Mathematics in 1950 from the California Institute of
Technology where Nobel Laureate Carl Anderson was his advisor.
He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1949 where his interest in elementary particles led to
the invention of the bubble chamber in 1953. Glaser moved to UC Berkeley in 1959 and in 1960, at the age of 34, won the Nobel
Prize in Physics.
Shortly after he moved to Berkeley, his research shifted to automated experimentation in molecular and cell biology. He worked
in UC Berkeley's Virus Lab, conducting experiments with bacteria and bacterial viruses called phages and mammalian cells.
He designed automated equipment that made it easier to grow these cells and to study how they grow, repair themselves, and
reproduce. His work in this area led to cofounding one of the first biotechnology companies and eventually to Cetus Corporation.
Glaser shifted his research interests toward neuroscience and the visual system by 1981 and continued work in this field into
Glaser passed away on February 28, 2013.
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