Gerhard Schmidt Oral Histories, 1971 -- 2009


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3.6 Cubic Feet
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Dr. Gerhard Schmidt was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1901. He studied medicine at the universities of Tübingen and Frankfurt, where he obtained a medical degree in 1924. During his studies, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Gustav Emden, one of the outstanding biochemist of the first half of the 20th century. Schmidt completed a medical internship in Stuttgart, and then returned to Frankfurt to train in research with Emden. He became a Privatdozent in the Department of Pathology at the University of Frankfurt, but had to flee Germany in March 1933 after the National Socialists came to power. Schmidt subsequently held fellowships in Italy, Sweden, Canada, and the US. He was brought to the New England Medical Center and Tufts College in 1940 by Dr. Siegfried Thannhauser, a distinguished research physician who was himself a refugee. Schmidt spent the rest of his career at Tufts.Dr. Schmidt pioneered work on enzymes involved in nucleic acid degradation and was a world authority in the field of nucleic acids and phospholipid. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1973. He died April 21, 1981. In 2002, Dr. Henry Mautner, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, established an annual lectureship in his memory.

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