The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Samuel Natelson begins the interview with a discussion of his family background and childhood in Brooklyn, New York. He attended City College of New York and received his B.S. in chemistry in 1928. As a graduate student, Natelson attended New York University, receiving a Sc. M. in 1930 and his PhD in 1931. After receiving his PhD , he began his career teaching at Girls Commercial High School. While maintaining his teaching position, Natelson joined the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn in 1933. Working as a clinical chemist for Jewish Hospital, Natelson first conceived of the idea of a society by and for clinical chemists. Natelson worked to organize the nine charter members of the American Association of Clinical Chemists, which formally began in 1948. A pioneer in the field of clinical chemistry, Samuel Natelson has become a role model for the clinical chemist. Natelson developed the usage of microtechniques in clinical chemistry. During this period, he served as a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the 1960s, helping analyze the effect of weightless atmospheres on astronauts' blood. Natelson spent his later career as chair of the biochemistry department at Michael Reese Hospital and as a lecturer at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He then became an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine. Natelson concludes his interview with thoughts on the future of clinical chemistry and reflections on his career and family.
|1928||City College of New York||BS||Chemistry|
|1930||New York University||ScM||Chemistry|
|1931||New York University||PhD||Chemistry|
New York University
New York Testing Lab
Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn
Rockford Memorial Hospital
St. Vincent's Hospital
New York Polyclinical Medical School and Hospital
Michael Reese Hospital
Illinois Institute of Technology
University of Tennessee
Van Slyke Award in Clinical Chemistry
Ames Award, American Association of Clinical Chemists
Science Award, Illinois Clinical Lab Associates
Chicago Clinical Chemistry Award
Table of Contents
Attending high school. Family background. Interest in chemistry. Starting college. Decision to attend graduate school.
Majoring in organic chemistry. Working with Professor Joseph B. Niederl. Patent on making rose oil. Teaching high school. Shift from career in industrial chemistry to clinical chemistry.
Starting at Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn. Working on cancer treatments. Going to Rockford Memorial Hospital.
Organizing clinical chemists. Decision to elect Harry Sobotka as first president. Organizational differences. Position as Head of Nominating Committee. Desire to advance the position of clinical chemists. Abolishment of fellow status. Role of pathologists.
Developing microtechniques. Working with NASA. Years at Rockford Memorial Hospital. Reflections on playing baseball. Need for role models in clinical chemistry. Working at St. Vincent's Hospital and Michael Reese Hospital.
Receiving adjunct professorship at College of Veterinary Medicine. Discussion on the future of clinical chemistry. Reflections on career and family.
About the Interviewer
James G. Traynham is a professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Northwestern University. He joined Louisiana State University in 1953 and served as chemistry department chairperson from 1968 to 1973. He was chairman of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1988 and is currently councilor of the Baton Rouge section of the American Chemical Society. He was a member of the American Chemical Society’s Joint-Board Council on Chemistry and Public Affairs, as well as a member of the Society’s Committees on Science, Chemical Education, and Organic Chemistry Nomenclature. He has written over 90 publications, including a book on organic nomenclature and a book on the history of organic chemistry.