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Interview with Findlay E. Russell

Russell, Findlay E. (1995) Interview with Findlay E. Russell. [Oral History]

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An interview in one session in 1994 with Findlay E. Russell, MD, toxicologist, and former Caltech research fellow (1951-1953). He recalls applying for a research fellowship at Caltech under Professor Anthonie Van Harreveld in the biology division during his time as an intern at Los Angeles County General Hospital (now Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center). Comments on decision to undertake research in neurophysiology during clinical training; his early and continuing interest in venomous and poisonous animals and the effect of toxins on the nervous system. Recollects the Caltech Biology Division in the early 1950s; his colleagues Howard Teas and Richard Schweets; Max Delbrück's influence on the students. Efforts by Russell to improve student social life include teaching students ballroom dancing and holding dances with Pasadena City College. His own research on stingray venom eventually supported by Office of Naval Research. In 1953 he moves to the Huntington Institute of Medical Research at the Henry Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Other reminiscences of life at Caltech and in Pasadena include: R. Feynman's defense of the local burlesque theater, the Burbank (1969); organizing a faculty volleyball team, which includes Nobelist William Shockley; memories of G. Beadle, A. Haagen-Smit, L. Pauling; treating Pauling's dog with vitamin C injections; various pranks. His participation in and enthusiasm for Kent Clark's musical shows on Caltech life. He leaves Huntington for professorship at USC in 1955. Consulting work for United Nations and other governmental agencies takes him all over the world.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Biology, biochemistry, toxicology
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Russell_F
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Russell, Findlay E. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, January 18, 1994. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:All Records
Subjects > Chemistry
Subjects > Biology
ID Code:111
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:18 Oct 2005
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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