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Listen or download interview (mp3, 79 minutes, 76MB)
Daniel Koshland's research has dramatically changed the understanding of enzymes and protein chemistry. Among his contributions is the "induced fit" theory of enzyme interaction, which posits that enzymes change shape as they react with other molecules. His current research focuses on understanding the catalytic power of enzymes and the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease. Koshland majored in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, before serving as a group leader in the Manhattan Project during World War II, working to purify plutonium. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1949 and did his postdoctoral research at Harvard University. In 1951, Koshland moved to Brookhaven National Laboratory, later holding a joint appointment at Brookhaven and Rockefeller University. In 1965, Koshland returned to Berkeley, where he served as head of the department of biochemistry and the Chancellor's Advisory Council on Biology. From 1985 to 1995, Koshland was editor-in-chief of Science magazine. Koshland established the Academy's Marian Koshland Science Museum in honor of his wife, a noted immunologist. Koshland died on July 23, 2007.
Last Updated: 07-19-2011
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The audio files linked above are part of the National Academy of Sciences InterViews series. Opinions and statements included in these audio files are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences.