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Feldman, Jim (Writer) / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin
(1997)

Institute for Enzyme Research,   pp. 258-259


Page 258

INSTITUTE FOR ENZYME
RESEARCH
.........  =    , ,  ,                  Fg.  . T e Enzyme
Institute, 1997. The
.... . =:"" :'                  :,  . . .   1948 section  is at the
ANNO    "                 right, the 1959 at left,
the connecting link was
part of the 1959
addition. [Del Brown
photo, AP-27]
The enzyme institute was founded in 1947 in the old WARF laboratories with the work
of Dr. David E. Green. The current building was built in 1948, with additions in 1959
and 1968. It has housed such world renowned researchers as Conrad Elvehjem,
David Green, and Nobel prize-winning Dr. Har Gobinder Khorana.
he germ of the idea for a world class research institute to investigate the fundamental
chemistry of biological life, came in a letter to the Rockefeller Foundation, from Dr. C. G.
King, biochemist, and discoverer of vitamin C. Dr. King set forth the opinion of leading
biochemists and cancer researchers that a central institute for enzymology was needed to replace
the great research centers in that field destroyed in Europe during WW II. Dr. King firther sug-
gested that the University of Wisconsin "seemed to offer the best promise for the development of
such an institute, and I am sure that Dr. C. A. Elvehjem and Dr. Van Potter would be interested in
such a project and could give it excellent supervision." This letter was written in October 1945.
Dean Fred found university faculty enthusiastic about such an institute.1
After the Rockefeller Foundation asked for information concerning developments in the
field of enzymology, Fred asked Conrad Elvehjem to prepare a statement. This statement, deliv-
ered on September 19, 1946, stated that Elvehjem and Dr. Van Potter discussed in late 1945 the
need for an institute for the post-doctorate training in enzymology. They believed that Wisconsin
was a logical site for the foundation. The committee recommended that a dedicated building be
erected along Henry Mall, in order to make it central to the schools of medicine and agriculture
with which it would be most closely allied. They estimated costs at $500,000-$750,000 for the
building, and an annual budget of $200,000 for six teams of researchers.2
To staff the institute, Dr. Potter began to woo Dr. David E. Green of Columbia University.
Green, who had been at Cambridge and Harvard, had recently organized the enzyme research
facility at Columbia, and was a world recognized researcher in the field. To house Dr. Green's
258


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