Jim Dahlberg on The Dahlbergs and Watsons: Family Friends
  Jim Dahlberg     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

I remember his parents, yeah, and I probably met him, but he was older than I was and at that time ten years makes a big difference. I do know that my parents told me afterwards that my father wrote a couple of letters to the draft board to keep Jim out of the draft during the Korean War, you know, so he could go and do his post doc. I’m not sure—that’s certainly not the reason he figured out the structure of DNA but probably helped a little bit. Yeah, so that was my only kind of personal experience with him early on.

And then we’ve just, if we’re at a meeting together we talk. He was very close to his parents, yeah. And I know—I remember when his father died that, I remember that I wrote him a letter, you know, saying that I’m sorry about that. But by that time we had already grown up from our own families, so—when I was in college actually for some reason and I don’t know why, my parents had Jim’s old car for some reason. Or his car or his parent’s car, it was an old something like a ’49 Ford and it was kind of a beige color. ’50 Ford, I don’t know! But it drove, and so that was my car when I was in college my parents let me have that. I don’t know where it is now. Probably nowhere, about that big by now in the compressor.

Jim Dahlberg received his BA 1962, Haverford College, Pennsyvlania, completed his PhD 1966, University of Chicago. Dr. Dahlberg was a Postdoctoral Fellow from 1966-68 in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge under the supervision of two-times Nobelist, Dr. Frederick Sanger. He also did worked in the 1968-69, Universite de Geneve under Dr. Richard Epstein.

Dr. Dahlberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1996, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists (1997) During his career he has been the recipient of many awards including Eli Lilly Award for Biological Chemistry, 1974; H.I. Romnes Faculty Research Fellowship, 1976; Philips Visitor, 1977; Josiah Macy, Jr. Faculty Scholar Award, 1979-80; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1982; Frederick Sanger Professorship, 1991; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993; Fellow, U.W. Hilldale Professor, 1997; Buzzati-Traverso Award for Molecular Biology, Italian National Research Council, 1998; NIH Merit Award, 1998; European Molecular Biology Organization, Foreign Associate, 1998.


He is a frequent visitor to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as well as a speaker at many key Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology.