Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Morris E. Friedkin Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 524
Mandeville Special Collections Library
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
Language of Material:
12.3 Linear feet
(26 archives boxes and 16 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1919 - 1992
Papers of Morris Friedkin, American biochemist, professor and university administrator. His research interests included folic
acid metabolism, cancer chemotherapy, enzymology, DNA synthesis, biochemical dynamics of the cell cycle, pharmacology, and
positron emission tomography. Materials include laboratory notebooks, loose notes, data, chemical and research product subject
files; reprints and typescripts of published and unpublished writings by Friedkin; documents related to grants and fellowships;
annotated writings by others; and correspondence. Also included are course materials and notes from Friedkin's time as student
at Iowa State College and at University of Chicago; and teaching materials and administrative materials from his time as a
faculty member and/or administrator at Washington University, Tufts University, and the University of California, San Diego.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS
Scope and Content of Collection
The Morris E. Friedkin Papers document the professional career of the American biochemist whose research interests throughout
his lifetime included folic acid metabolism, cancer chemotherapy, enzymology, DNA synthesis, the biochemical dynamics of the
cell cycle and cell growth, pharmacology, the use of radioactively-labeled molecules in biochemical research, and positron
emission tomography. Materials reflecting Friedkin's scientific activities include an extensive but incomplete set of laboratory
notebooks, documents related to specific research projects, information Friedkin collected on specific chemicals and laboratory
products, loose data, miscellaneous research notes, and descriptions of laboratory techniques. Other materials include documents
related to Friedkin's grants and fellowships, correspondence, reprints and typescripts of Friedkin's writings, and manuscripts
or typescripts of lectures about his research. Also included are notes and materials from courses Friedkin took as an undergraduate
at Iowa State College and as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Finally, the papers contain materials related
to Friedkin's teaching and administrative duties at the Washington University School of Medicine, Tufts University School
of Medicine, and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. The papers are arranged in ten series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL
MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) EDUCATION MATERIALS, 4) GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS, 5) RESEARCH MATERIALS, 6) WRITINGS BY FRIEDKIN,
7) TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS, 8) WRITINGS BY OTHERS, 9) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, and 10) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION
SERIES 1: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS
The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, contains materials documenting significant events in Friedkin's
life such as his birth certificate, his doctoral diploma, materials regarding his sabbatical leaves, and two personal logs
with regular entries.
SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged in three subseries: A) Chronological Files, B) A to Z Files, and C) Letters of Recommendation.
A) The Chronological Files subseries is arranged chronologically. The order and content of these files remain unchanged from
their original state except that letters of recommendation written for or by Friedkin were seperated and placed into their
own folder in the Letters of Recommendation subseries.
B) The A to Z Files subseries, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, contains letters written to or from Friedkin from
1948 to 1987. Included is correspondence with the renowned biochemist and Friedkin's graduate advisor, Albert Lehninger.
C) The Letters of Recommendation subseries contains letters of recommendation, arranged chronologically, written by Friedkin
for students, colleagues, and employees. Also included are letters of recommendation written for Friedkin.
SERIES 3: EDUCATION MATERIALS
The EDUCATION MATERIALS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Iowa State College, B) University of Chicago, and C) Stanford
A) The Iowa State College subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials related to courses Friedkin attended at his
undergraduate institution, Iowa State College, from 1939 to 1941. Materials include course notes, laboratory notes, written
reports, and course handouts from courses in biochemistry, chemistry, colloid chemistry, and sanitary bacteriology.
B) The University of Chicago subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials related to courses Friedkin attended at
his graduate institution, the University of Chicago, from 1942 to 1948. Materials include course notes and notebooks, laboratory
notes and notebooks, course handout, written assignments, and copies of examinations from courses in biochemistry and genetics.
C) The Stanford University subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials from a course in microbiology Friedkin took
at Stanford University in 1956. Materials include course notes and notebooks, a poster of microrganisms, and course handouts.
SERIES 4: GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS
The GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS series is arranged in two subseries: A) New Antagonists of Amethopterin-Resistant Leukemia and
A) The New Antagonists of Amethopterin-Resistant Leukemia subseries, arranged chronologically, contains documents related
to Friedkin's longest continuous grant from the Department of Health, Education and Public Welfare at the National Institutes
of Health for the funding of a project entitled "New Antagonists of Amethopterin-Resistant Leukemia" from 1968 to 1985. Included
are grant applications, correspondence, notices of research projects, progress reports, project evaluations, and documents
related to Friedkin's subcontracting of SRI International.
B) The Miscellaneous subseries, arranged chronologically, contains materials related to Friedkin's other grants and fellowships.
Materials include applications, correspondence, and miscellaneous records from Friedkin's United States Public Health Service
postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Copenhagen in 1948 to his application to the University of California, San Diego,
for funding of a project entitled "Synthesis of Difluoromethylornithine" in 1988.
SERIES 5: RESEARCH MATERIALS
The RESEARCH MATERIALS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Laboratory Notebooks and Notes, B) Projects, C) Chemical and
Product Information, and D) Data and Laboratory Techniques.
A) The Laboratory Notebooks and Notes subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains laboratory notebooks and loose research
notes from the 1940s to the 1980s. Included are loose notes from short periods during which Friedkin worked at the Brookhaven
National Laboratory in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. Also included are laboratory notebooks which Friedkin numbered from the
period of his dissertation research at the University of Chicago in the late 1940s to the period of his research at the University
of California, San Diego, in the late 1970s. Although the labels on the notebooks are numerically discontinuous, the content
of the notebooks are continuous chronologically from 1946 to 1973. Also included are a few unnumbered laboratory notebooks
and a folder of miscellaneous research notes.
B) The Projects subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials related to specific research projects from 1968 to
1988. Materials include loose research notes, data, graphs, writings by others, and photographs or other illustrations for
projects on phosophoserine, cell proliferation, colchine, DNA, folic acid, microtubules, a possible leukemia inhibitor, and
C) The Chemical and Product Information subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials collected by Friedkin concerning
chemicals or laboratory products of interest and possibly used in his research. Included are writings by others annotated
by Friedkin, notes, and product pamphlets.
D) The Data and Laboratory Techniques subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains materials which are not related to any
of the materials in the other RESEARCH MATERIALS subseries. Included are data collected by Friedkin's students and research
assistants, data from specific experiments, annotated writings by others on laboratory techniques, and typescripts of laboratory
SERIES 6: WRITINGS BY FRIEDKIN
The WRITINGS BY FRIEDKIN series is arranged in three subseries: A) Numbered Publications, B) Lectures, and C) Unnumbered Publications
and Unpublished Writings.
A) The Numbered Publications subseries, arranged chronologically, contains reprints, typescript drafts, and drafts of figures
for writings published by Friedkin in professional and scholarly journals from 1945 to 1985. Included is a publication list
from the collection that lists Friedkin's publications chronologically and numbers them from 1 to 122. The set of numbered
publications is incomplete.
B) The Lectures subseries, arranged chronologically, contains materials from lectures Friedkin gave on various biochemical
topics at professional conferences or at other universities. Included are miscellaneous lecture announcements and manuscripts
or typescripts of his lectures.
C) The Unnumbered Publications and Unpublished Writings subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains reprints or photocopies
of published articles that are not on the numbered publication list, manuscripts or typescripts of papers reviewed but not
accepted for publication, a typescript copy of Friedkin's dissertation, and other miscellaneous writings.
SERIES 7: TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS
The TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIALS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Washington University School of Medicine,
B) Tufts University School of Medicine, and C) UCSD School of Medicine.
A) The Washington University School of Medicine subseries, arranged chronologically, contains mostly course handouts and manuscripts
or tyepscripts of lectures for biochemistry or statistics courses taught by Friedkin. Included are photographs of some of
the research facilities at Washington University. Both the teaching and administrative materials are arranged chronologically,
but they are not interfiled. The teaching materials, arranged chronologically, appear first and any administrative materials
follow, also arranged chronologically.
B) The Tufts University School of Medicine subseries, arranged chronologically, contains both teaching and administrative
materials. Included are Tufts University School of Medicine yearbooks, a bound collection of articles produced by the faculty
of the Department of Biochemistry during Friedkin's time as chair of the department, newspaper clippings, miscellaneous administrative
materials, and two folders of miscellaneous laboratory floorplans. Also included are course handouts and typescripts of lectures
for courses Freidkin taught at Tufts. Teaching materials, arranged chronologically, appear first in the subseries while any
administrative materials, arranged chronologically, follow the teaching materials. The two groups of materials are not interfiled
within the subseries.
C) The UCSD School of Medicine subseries is arranged in the same manner as the previous two subseries with the teaching materials,
arranged chronologically, followed by the administrative materials, also arranged chronologically. Included are course handouts
and lecture manuscripts for biochemistry courses Friedkin taught in the 1970s. Also included are materials related to Friedkin's
work as provost of Revelle College (1974-1976), and a restricted file of documents related to Friedkin's role as an investigator
of a complaint of scientific misconduct.
SERIES 8: WRITINGS BY OTHERS
The WRITINGS BY OTHERS series, arranged alphabetically, contains reprints or typescripts of articles on biochemistry or related
topics, many with notations, collected by Friedkin.
SERIES 9: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, contains materials unrelated to any other series in the collection.
Included are materials documenting Friedkin's attendance at various professional conferences, miscellaneous slides presumably
related to Friedkin's lectures, letters Friedkin wrote to politicians concerning the war in Vietnam, newspaper clippings,
and documents related to Friedkin's review of the graduate pharmacology program at the University of California, San Francisco.
SERIES 10: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES
The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES series contains the originals of brittle or high acid content documents that have
Morris E. Friedkin was born on December 30, 1918, in Kansas City, Missouri. Upon finishing high school in 1936, he entered
Kansas City Junior College and received an A.A. in chemistry in 1938. Friedkin continued his education at Iowa State College
receiving a B.S. in chemistry in 1940 and an M.S. in analytical chemistry in 1941. After completing his master's degree, he
enrolled in the doctorate program in biochemistry at the University of Chicago where he was one of the first graduate students
of the renowned biochemist, Albert Lehninger. In 1948, Morris Friedkin completed his Ph.D. with the submission of his dissertation
entitled "Studies on Aerobic Phosophorylation." After receiving his doctorate, he continued his studies for one year as a
postdoctoral fellow of the National Institutes of Health at the University of Copenhagen.
Friedkin returned to the United States in 1949 and accepted a faculty position in the Department of Pharmacology at the Washington
University School of Medicine. In 1957, he joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at the Tufts University School
of Medicine where he also served as chair of the department in addition to his teaching and research responsibilities. In
1969, looking to devote more time to research and less to administrative duties, he moved to the Department of Biology at
the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. For the remainder of his professional career at UCSD except for
a short appointment as provost of Revelle College (1974-1976), Friedkin focused exclusively on research and teaching.
Throughout his career, Friedkin worked in many different areas of biochemical research usually with the aim of developing
chemotherapies for medicinal application. While attending the University of Chicago, he worked as chemist on the "Penicillin
Project" at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory. In 1966, the United States Army contracted with Friedkin to explore
new areas in the development of drugs for malaria-resistance. Also in the 1960s, he began his career-long study of cancer
chemotherapy with particular interest in the treatment of leukemia. In the course of over forty years of scientific research,
Friedkin's contributions advanced scientific understanding in many areas of biochemistry including folic acid metabolism,
the biochemical basis of the cell cycle and cell growth, the use of radioactively labeled molecules in biochemical research,
molecular pharmacology, DNA synthesis, the structure and function of microtubules, and positron emission tomography. He published
regularly in scholarly journals throughout his career and was honored with membership to the National Academy of Sciences
Morris Friedkin retired from his position in the Department of Biology at the University of California, San Diego School of
Medicine in 1989. He died on September 19, 2002.
Morris E. Friedkin Papers, MSS 524. Mandeville Special Collections, UC San Diego Library.
In accordance with state and federal law, materials in Box 3, Folder 18 and Box 24, Folder 12 are restricted until 2067.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
University of California, San Diego -- Faculty
Molecular biologists -- United States -- Archival resources