The Robert L. Sinsheimer Papers came to the Archives of the California Institute of
Technology in September 1977 as a gift from Dr. Sinsheimer. The Collection comprises
correspondence, materials relating to various scientific organizations and meetings, some
lecture notes, presentations, and a set of scientific reprints.
Robert L. Sinsheimer was born the second of three brothers in Washington, D.C. in 1920,
but he grew up in Chicago. He was one of the first graduates of M.I.T.'s biophysics
undergraduate program in 1941. Sinsheimer stayed on for graduate study in biophysics,
earning his Ph.D. in 1948 after spending the war years (1942-45) as a researcher at
M.I.T.'s Radiation Laboratory. Due to the difficulty in finding a university position in
biophysics, Sinsheimer took a one-year postdoc at M.I.T. before accepting a faculty
position in the physics department at Iowa State College in 1949. He spent a six-month
sabbatical in 1953 at Caltech, working on genetics with Max Delbrück. Back at Iowa State,
Sinsheimer established his reputation as a biologist by isolating the important virus,
X 174, and developing procedures for its use to study genetics.
Copyright has not been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All
requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing
to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the
California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not
intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.