Renato Dulbecco on The Dulbecco House Catches Fire
  Renato Dulbecco     Biography    
Recorded: 22 Feb 2011

MD: I remember Renato used to enjoy very much fixing things in the house, right? He would fix plumbing, electricity, anything that went wrong he would be happy to fix it. But then of course it usually ended up much longer than it was supposed to take. Occasionally we would have no water for a while. Or I don't know, what else had happened? And then uh, see, remember that night we all came back, and Michael Stoker, we all flew back from Tokyo. No, actually we came, we had come back from Tokyo, and Michael came a few days later, and we picked him up at the airport. And I remember by the time we got home it was very later, and Michael of course was confused with the time difference, so Renato gave him a sleeping pill and told him to go to bed. Which he did. And then, about an hour later, we heard this crackling, bupping [?] noise, and it turned out our garage was on fire, right. So poor Michael had just been put to bed with a sleeping pill, we had to wake him up, and the fire was very strong. I remember Michael there, and the kitchen of course connected to the garage. And Michael was throwing buckets of water on the door, the kitchen side of the door, to keep the door from burning down. We thought it was a good idea actually, but it was a terrible mess, between the firemen and Michael. So then we had no electricity I remember, so we just all went-- actually we didn't go back to bed, we went to the neighbor's house, because the neighbors came over, and I remember they-- it was about 5 o'clock in the morning by the time the firemen left. Because the firemen also came to the neighbor's house. I remember they served us all Irish coffee. Then we went back to bed for a little bit. The I remember we had to go-- we had no electricity, and we had to go to a party that evening, somebody's house in La Jolla with Michael, and I remember we had camping lanterns and shining them to see if our faces were clean and our hair was alright. It was fun.

Renato Dulbecco was born in Catanzaro,Italy, in 1914. He studied medicine in Turin before joining the Italian Resistance movement against Benito Mussolini during theSecond Wold War.

After the war Dulbecco emigrated to the United States and worked with Salvador Luria at the University of Indiana before moving on to the University of California.

Won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1964.

Won the 1975 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology with David Baltimore and Howard Temin "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell".