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Biological NMR Spectroscopy$
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John L. Markley and Stanley J. Opella

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195094688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195094688.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Early Days of Biochemical NMR

Early Days of Biochemical NMR

(p.20) 3 Early Days of Biochemical NMR
Biological NMR Spectroscopy

R.G. Shulman

Oxford University Press

It was my pleasure to participate in Oleg’s 65th birthday celebration and to reminisce about the early days of Biochemical NMR. Oleg was always there. I remember in the summer in the early 1960s sitting on lawn chairs at a Gordon Conference and discussing the need for a meeting on biochemical NMR. This was to convene those with common interests, and out of this grew the 1964 meeting in Boston, which was the first International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems. In organizing the 1964 meeting Oleg was stalwart, in charge of the local arrangements at the old mansion, home of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The venue was much appreciated by the more than 100 attendees, and the smooth arrangements and elegant, although somewhat dowdy locale, contributed to the sense, generated by the meeting, that the field had a coherent scientific core and a meaningful future. In the early days of the 1960s the field of magnetic resonance in biological systems, brought together biannually by the society, had a coherence that was nurtured by the society. In those days the NMR and ESR methods were much less developed than they soon became, so that any reasonably competent spectroscopist could understand all the methods employed. Additionally, because the earlier studies concentrated upon the better understood biological molecules or processes, the breadth of the applications did not baffle a slightly informed biochemist. The rapid advances in definite understanding were thrilling to practitioners in the field, and individual efforts were motivated by a sense that the field was going to grow. By that time NMR was firmly established as a quantitative method in chemistry, solid state physics, and other material sciences so that with the results in hand it was logical to extrapolate to a future in which magnetic resonance could be central to biological research. These high hopes, however, required considerable confidence in extrapolation, because the individual findings were sometimes slight when compared to the exciting cutting edges of biological research.

Keywords:   Gordon conference, ICMRBS, ribonuclease

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