Renato Dulbecco on Marriage of Renato and Maureen Dulbecco
  Renato Dulbecco     Biography    
Recorded: 22 Feb 2011

MD: We met at Caltech. Some basement, because I had been working there with Harry Rubin, and he decided to go to Berkeley. Renato was in Cambridge on sabbatical when I came to Caltech to work with Harry, and I didn't want to move again to Berkeley, so he said, well, you can stay with Renato, so that was how we met. Quite accidental actually.

MD: We worked in the lab together.

MD: No, after [unintelligible] not really. We'd talk about people in the lab that we both knew and we would-- even if we were in the lab together in the evening we would, if there were some funny things that happened we would just discuss those. No, I mean, we never-- science, discussing science was never a main part of our life together and our discussions together.

RD: Depends, the head in general, she is. Because of various reasons, first of all she has a fantastic memory. She remembers, she knows all the connections, commitments and so on. She doesn't have to go and look in the books, she knows it. So that's really a very, very sure thing. So from this point of view, which is a general point of view, she is.

MD: Sure, you decided to move to London. Decided to move back here. You decided to move to La Jolla.

RD: I made the decisions of that kind, usually because those are technical decisions. It's not a question of, see mainly you think I would do for you, for her, but some which are so pertinent that you cannot move around it, at least not easily, so if you want to remove it, it has to be studied with great attention. So, for some opportunities, if it was one of these decisions which contained a component, a technical component, then of course my participation was larger, better.

RD: Fiona, I [unintelligible]. It was a started in England, and so did not, it was, [unintelligible] put her in the system, the English system, which is quite different. Of course as she started she did very well, she was serious and she knew she was doing it. But then we moved back to here and now there was a big change for her. And again, we asked for advice because, what did we do?

MD: Well, she was very unhappy in school, because in England they started school much earlier and they put her here, she was six, and they put her in Kindergarten, well she had already been out of Kindergarten for two years, and basically ready for much more advanced group. And we let her in the local school and they refused to do anything. And the I remember we thought we had to go back to England, and I remember you went to discuss, and you went to tell Jonas Salk that it was really possible, that this child when was always really enthusiastic, talkative child, she would come home from school and say nothing, she wouldn't talk about school and do nothing. She was very, very unhappy. And Jonas then talked to a friend of his who was the headmistress at Bishops School, and she said yes, until she was in, I think Bishops started at seventh grade, eighth, that she should go to this private school called Country Day. So they tested her and they said, well, she could actually go into fourth grade. She was only six, and, she was a really nice lady Maureen Fielding, she was headmistress of the ruler[?] school, and she said well, she thought that was too much. She should go into third grade, because that would be-- she would be comfortable there and she also knew, she identified three girls who would be very good friends for Fiona, and how she could see that coming, having only talked to Fiona for an hour I do not know. But one of these girls is her bosom friend, and they all kept up with each other all throughout school so it worked and that was very nice.

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".