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Industrial Consultancies and Collaborative Research

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Chain, Professor Sir Ernst Boris
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346 files

Biographical note

Section F reflects Chain's continuing contact with a wide range of industrial firms. Although not all of the companies listed here had a formal consultancy agreement with him, most of them sought his advice at one time or another and they have been included as part of the general picture of industrial collaboration.

The largest group of papers (F.44-F.174) relates to Chain's consultancy with the Beecham Group which culminated in 1959 with the isolation of 6-amino-penicillanic acid (the 'nucleus' of the penicillin molecule). Chain continued to be associated with the Beecham Group until his death in 1979 and the surviving papers document the extent of his involvement with the expansion of their research effort after 1959 as well as his friendly personal contacts, particularly with H.G. Lazell (Chairman, 1958-1968).

Attention is also drawn to the very full record of Chain's collaboration with Astra from 1948 to 1957, a period for which documentation in other parts of the collection is rather patchy.

Many of Chain's contacts with industry resulted in the funding of collaborative research projects conducted in his laboratory, both in Rome and particularly, at Imperial College. Correspondence re the negotiation and administration of such collaborative projects is to be found both here (see the references to this Section under 'Imperial College' in the General Index) and in Section D, especially D.127-D.130.

Inevitably, with so many contacts in the industrial world, Chain was often responsible for initiating collaborative projects between the various firms with whom he was associated. Such links are noted, but not generally cross-referenced in the catalogue entries which follow. Instead, each firm is included in the General Index with a list of references to this and other sections of the catalogue where appropriate.


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