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March 22, 1995

My Career as a Radioisotope Hunter

Author Affiliations

From the Office of the Associate Director-at-Large, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.

JAMA. 1995;273(12):961-964. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520360075043

My career as a radioisotope hunter began when I was working as a young scientist in the Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, during the trailblazing years in the late 1930s. I started this research in 1936 while a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Berkeley. The cyclotrons of Ernest O. Lawrence opened the doors to discovery, and as a chemist I was in the enviable position of being able to apply the powerful methods of my discipline to the identification of transmutation products. As a result of the broad interests of Ernest and his brother John, the scope of investigations in the Radiation Laboratory extended beyond basic research to include the practical interdisciplinary applications of these new tools of investigation.

Special emphasis was placed on applications to medicine. Partly because of this and partly as a result of accidental good fortune, I became involved in

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