Errol C. Friedberg

Photo of Dr. Friedberg by UT Southwestern Medical CenterPhoto of Dr. Friedberg by UT Southwestern Medical CenterErrol C. Friedberg, a biologist and science historian, is the Senator Betty and Dr. Andy Andujar Distinguished Professor and Chair at the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He studied medicine at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, and subsequently received postdoctoral training in biochemistry and pathology at Case Western Reserve University before joining the faculty at Stanford University. Friedberg's research contributions center on understanding how cells repair and/or tolerate unrepaired damage to DNA and defining the biological consequences of unrepaired DNA damage.


Friedberg has also published several volumes on aspects of the history of molecular biology, including Correcting the Blueprint of Life - An Historical Account of the Discovery of DNA Repair Mechanisms, The Writing Life of James D. Watson, From Rags to Riches - The Phenomenal Rise of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Sydney Brenner: A Biography.


Friedberg is a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (1988) and the American Academy of Microbiology (2002), and was a Mellon Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh (2002). He has received the Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology (2000), an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Witwatersrand (2002), and received the Lila Gruber Honor Award for Cancer Research from the American Academy of Dermatology (2007).


Scope and Content

The Errol C. Friedberg Collection consists of material related to the writing and publication of two biographies: The Writing Life of James D. Watson and Sydney Brenner: A Biography (both published by CSHL Press). The bulk of the collection is composed of research material, much of it photocopies of documents found in the James D. Watson Collection and the Sydney Brenner Collection, both housed at the CSHL Library and Archives. Research material also includes numerous scientific papers and articles, the bulk of which are photocopies.


The files related to the Watson biography include correspondence with publishers, correspondence with Watson, an interview with Andrew Berry, and several drafts.

The Sydney Brenner files include galley proofs, correspondence with publishers, correspondence with scientists (including R. Horowitz, M. Meselson, H. Huxley, S. Benzer, and Watson), and transcripts of interviews with scientists (including D. Baltimore, S. Benzer, W. Bodmer, Brenner, W. Gilbert, F. Jacob, A. Klug, J. Lederberg, R. Olby, L. Orgel, F. Sanger, and Watson). Of note is an original typescript of Brenner’s paper “On The Impossibility of All Overlapping Triplet Codes” (1956).


The collection consists only of material related to these two biographies. It does not include Friedberg’s personal or scientific papers, nor does it include material related to any other works.