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Reconstructing the Wistar Institute


On our way to Philadelphia
Leonard Hayflick Scientist
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So Hilary did indeed hire me, and we, my wife and I, took our two young infants in an automobile and drove from Galveston, Texas to Philadelphia with one infant in the back seat of the car, this was a sedan so it had a back seat, in which I fashioned a platform so that my young son could play back there. And my young daughter was so... so young an infant that we had her in a drawer suspended under the dashboard of the Pontiac car that we drove to Philadelphia.

They were perfectly comfortable, and of course at that time there was no such thing as belts or seats for kids. In any case, we made it to Philadelphia. We rented a house there while we looked for a permanent home, and started my work at the Wistar Institute.

Leonard Hayflick (b. 1928), the recipient of several research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research, is known for his research in cell biology, virus vaccine development, and mycoplasmology. He also has studied the ageing process for more than thirty years. Hayflick is known for discovering that human cells divide for a limited number of times in vitro (refuting the contention by Alexis Carrel that normal body cells are immortal), which is known as the Hayflick limit, as well as developing the first normal human diploid cell strains for studies on human ageing and for research use throughout the world. He also made the first oral polio vaccine produced in a continuously propogated cell strain - work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Galveston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pontiac, Wistar Institute, Hilary Koprowski

Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: July 2011

Date story went live: 08 August 2012