Waclaw Szybalski Lecture Series honors the over 60 years of close ties between Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Dr. Waclaw Szybalski, a pioneering geneticist, microbiologist, cancer biologist, and genome scientist. (continued below.)

 

 

2018 “Barbara McClintock, Nobel Laureate and America’s Most Distinguished Cytogeneticist”. (Date to be announced.)
2017 “Neurosurgery before Neurosurgery: The Formative Years 1517-1867”. Lecture: Dr. Eugene S. Flamm, Neurosurgeon and Rare Book Collector, Albert Einstein School of Medicine
2016 “What can Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Tell us About Women’s participation in Science”. Lecture: Dr. Marsha Richmond, Wayne State University
2015 “The Genetic Legacy of H.J. Muller: Nobel Laureate, Geneticist, and Social Scientific Activist” Lecture & Panel Discussion: Elof Carlson, Indiana University, Visiting Scholar Institute For Advanced Study, Emeritus, James Schwartz, Helen Muller, professor emerita at the University of New Mexico
2014 “100 Years on Alfred Russell Wallace, Charles Darwin and the Discovery of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection”. Lecture by Andrew Berry, Harvard University
2013 “Two sides of Rachmaninoff”, Concert/Discussion
2012 “Writers and Original Sources”. Lecture & Panel Discussion: JD Watson, S. Brenner, R. Olby
2011 "Historic Milestones of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory". Speaker: Mila Pollock, CSHL

 

 

Szybalski’s research career began at Cold Spring Harbor in 1951 after his emigration from Poland. Here he invented the gradient plate technique—a method for isolating drug-resistant mutants and determining the minimal inhibitory concentration of antimicrobial compounds. He also performed genetic studies of cross-resistance to antibiotics and mutation rates that led to the idea of “multiple antibiotic therapy.” In 1954, Szybalski moved to the new Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University and then in 1960 to the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin, where he remained for the rest of his research career. There he discovered the radiosensitization of human and bacterial cells by incorporation of 5-bromo- and 5-iododeoxyuridine into their DNA, a discovery that had a very practical application in enhancing radiotherapy of cancers. Also among his many research achievements was the first enzymatic synthesis of biologically active DNA in 1963 with Rose Litman. His later work focused on the function of regulatory elements, sequencing methods, and genome science.

Szybalski met the physicist and phage biologist Max Delbrück during his early days at Cold Spring Harbor and has the rare distinction of attending every CSHL Phage meeting from its inception in 1950 through the last meeting 2010. Szybalski was also a regular participant in the CSHL Symposium on Quantitative Biology.

Because his first lab desk at CSHL was in the Carnegie Building, Szybalski had a special affection for this building. At the 2001 and 2002 Phage meetings, Szybalski urged the Lab to add an annex to the Carnegie Library that would include meeting space and space for visiting researchers, and he provided a generous philanthropic donation to make this possible. The result was the Szybalski Annex, which opened in 2010, and houses the Szybalski Reading Room. Dr. Szybalski’s portrait hangs in the Reading Room, which also contains a large-format illustrated volume detailing his life, his scientific achievements, and his many honors.

Nobelists who attended CSHL Symposia

PARTICIPATION BY NOBEL LAUREATES IN COLD SPRING HARBOR SYMPOSIA ON QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY, 1933 TO PRESENT PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE SYMPOSIA ATTENDED

2009

Elizabeth Blackburn

Carol Greider

Jack Szostack

5

4

3

1977, 1982, 1983, 2000, 2006

1993, 2000, 2005, 2006

1980, 1982, 2009

2007

Mario R. Capecchi

Sir Martin J. Evans

Oliver Smithies

3

1

5

1984, 1986, 1997

1985

1964, 1967, 1973, 1976, 1986

2006

Andrew Z. Fire

Craig C. Mello

1

1

 2004

2004

2004

Richard Axel

Linda B. Buck

11

4

 1973, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996

1983, 1985, 1990, 1996

2002

Sydney Brenner

H. Robert Horvitz

Sir John E. Sulston

7

1

2

1961, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1993, 2005

1970, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997

1983

2001

 Leland H. Hartwell

Sir Tim Hunt

Sir Paul Nurse

2

2

1

 1991, 1994

1969, 1991

2000

2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1989
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1981
1980
1978
1976
1975
1974
1972
1971

 

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Directors of CSHL

Bashford Dean Biolab 1890-91
Herbert Conn Biolab 1891-97
Charles Davenport Biolab 1898-24
Station for Exp. Evol 1904-21
ERO 1910-21
CIW Dept. of Genetics 1921-34
Albert Blakeslee CIW Dept. of Genetics 1934-41
Milislav Demerec  CIW Dept. of Genetics 1941-60
LIBA 1941-60
Berwind Kaufmann CIW Dept of Genetics 1960-62
Alfred Hershey CIW Genetics Res. Unit 1962-71
Reginald Harris LIBA 1924-36
Eric Ponder LIBA 1936-41
Arthur Chovnick LIBA 1960-62
H. Edwin Umbarger CSHLLQB 1962-63
John Cairns CSHLLQB 1963-68
James Watson
CSHLLQB 1968-94
CSHL 1968-94
Bruce Stillman CSHL 1994-Present

Institution Names

Biolab Department of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
Station for Experimental Evolution Department of Carnegie Institution of Washington
ERO Eugenics Records Office
CIW Carnegie Institute of Washington
CIW Dept. of  Genetics or Genetics Res. Unit Formed by merger of Station for Experimental Evolution and Eugenics Records Office
LIBA Long Island Biological Association
CSHLLQB Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Quantitative Biology
CSHL Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

For more specific information on the availability of materials or to arrange an appointment to use the Archives please contact (516)367-8414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please consult our Permission and Copyright Policies for any materials you wish to use.

Availability of Material

For specific information on the availability of materials or to arrange an appointment to use the Archives, please contact (516)367-8414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please consult our Permissions & Copyright Policies for any materials you wish to use.

This collection was processed under the grant History and Development of Molecular Biology: New Sources through the Hidden Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Collections (1890-1910), (NAS11-RB-50178-11). Funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. nhprc-2-m