Recorded: 04 Jun 2001
I moved to Harvard in I think '57 and before that I finished that work in Cambridge, finished my fellowship in Cambridge. And then I didn't have a job and I thought well maybe—Jim seems like an intelligent person—and maybe I will get along with him, so far I've gotten along with him, why not try that. I had been moving from one place to another—Switzerland, England, and so on; I had been to Caltech and back—and I thought a little traveling that time is not such a bad thing, I arrived at Harvard like this and Jim had arranged to find some money for me.
Alfred Tissières was a biologist, biochemist and geneticist. He received his Ph.D. from Cambridge for his work at the Molteno Institute and subsequently did postdoctoral work on respiratory enzymes at Caltech under Max Delbruck.
Soon after returning to Cambridge, Watson suggested he come to Harvard to work on microsomal particles in E. coli.
At Harvard, Tissières and Jim discovered that ribosomes were made of two unequal pieces, each containing protein and RNA. Tissieres began a professorship at the University of Geneva where his laboratory has become prominent in the field of ribosome research.
Alfred first attended a symposium at Cold Spring Harbor in 1961 and when Jim Watson became director, Tissières would regularly visit with his family during the summer.