Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c468

Luigi Gorini papers

Overview

The Luigi Gorini papers, 1922-1980, are the product of Gorini’s research, teaching, professional, and publishing activities throughout the course of his career. The papers are arranged in four series: I. Research records, 1953-1977, undated; II. Professional activities records, 1964-1977, undated; III. Writings and publications, 1922-1988, undated; and IV. Harvard Medical School and teaching records, 1956-1975, undated.

Dates

  • 1922-1988 (inclusive)

Creator

Language of Materials

Papers are predominantly in English. Some papers are in French and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series II and IV. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series II, III, and IV. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to consult Public Services for further information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.

Extent

22.66 cubic feet (22 records center cartons, 1 legal size document box, 1 oversize box)
The Luigi Gorini papers, 1922-1980, are the product of Gorini’s research, teaching, professional, and publishing activities throughout the course of his career. The papers are arranged in four series: I. Research records, 1953-1977, undated; II. Professional activities records, 1964-1977, undated; III. Writings and Publications, 1922-1988, undated; and IV. Harvard Medical School and teaching records, 1956-1975, undated.

Research records (Series I) constitute the bulk of the collection and include the data, methods and processes, and analysis from Gorini’s laboratory experiments completed while at the Harvard Medical School. These includes charts, tables, raw and analyzed data, as well as related correspondence and drafts of scientific articles based on the studies. Professional activities records (Series II) contain correspondence with peers and colleagues regarding research, grant projects, and publications, along with files related to professional organizations with which Gorini was involved, such as the American Cancer Society, the Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Congress of Biochemistry, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the European Molecular Biology Organization, among others. These papers include meeting minutes, abstracts of papers presented at meetings, and correspondence relating to the organizations and corresponding publications. Writings and publications (Series III) include unpublished and published scientific articles written by Gorini both independently and with colleagues, resulting from his laboratory experiments and research. Harvard Medical School and teaching records (Series IV) include course materials from Gorini’s career as the American Cancer Society Associate Professor and Professor at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. These include syllabi, suggested readings, course plans, laboratory experiment assignments, as well as some student papers and doctoral theses.

Papers in each of these series relate to Gorini’s research within microbiology and molecular genetics, including examinations of bacterial enzymes and their effect on bacterial regulation, the arginine pathway and the influence of ribosomal mutations, as well as bacterial ribosomes and the effect of the antibiotic streptomycin. Papers also refer to his studies of bacterial proteolysis and the biochemistry of extracellular enzymes, which led to the discovery of the growth factor catechol. Throughout the collection, "Sm" stands for "streptomycin."
Scope and Contents Papers are in English, French, and Italian.

Biographical Notes

Luigi Gorini (1903-1976), University of Pavia, Italy, was the American Cancer Society Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Gorini was known for his research in the physiology of proteolysis, bacterial and gene expression regulation, bacterial ribosomes, and the influence of ribosomal mutations. The papers contain correspondence files; research notes and data; and writings and publications, all of which were generated by Gorini’s professional, research, and publishing activities.

Luigi Gorini was born on 13 November 1903 in Milan, Italy, and attended the University of Pavia, Italy, for his undergraduate and graduate education. He received his undergraduate degree in 1925. He completed his thesis in organic chemistry, but focused in his graduate studies on biology. Gorini moved to Milan, Italy, where he was a researcher at the Instituto Giuliana Ronzoni from 1942 to 1945. He became the head of the Department of Biochemistry at the Instituto Scientifico di Chimica e Biochimica Giuliana Ronzoni in 1946, a role he held until immigrating to Paris, France, in 1949. There, he worked in the laboratory of Claude Fromageot in the Laboratory of Biological Chemistry at the National Center for Scientific Research at the Sorbonne, Paris, from 1949 to 1951; in 1951, Gorini was named the Head of Research in this laboratory and the Master of Research in 1954. He was a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Pharmacology of the College of Medicine at New York University, New York, from 1955 to 1957. In that year, he began teaching as a Lecturer in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He became the American Cancer Society Associate Professor in this Department in 1962, and acted as the American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics until his retirement in 1974. He remained a Professor Emeritus until his death on 13 August 1976.

Gorini’s laboratory research early in his career related to aspects of bacterial proteolysis and the biochemistry of extracellular enzymes. His work on the physiology of proteolysis led to the discovery of an unusual growth factor, catechol, in 1954. Working with Werner Maas (born 1921), Gorini recognized the way bacterial enzymes affect bacterial regulation, which in turn altered modes of thought about the regulation of gene expression and led to the development of the concept of the gene repressor. Once at Harvard Medical School, Gorini’s research focus was primarily on the arginine pathway and the influence of ribosomal mutations. With Eva Kataja, Gorini also studied bacterial ribosomes and the effect of streptomycin. He published more than 100 scientific articles, actively writing and publishing until his death. Gorini was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Society of General Physiologists, the American Society for Biological Chemists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For his research, he received the award for Advancement in Organic Chemistry at the Politecnico of Milan, Italy, in 1927; the Kronauer Prize from the Faculté des Sciences, Sorbonne, 1949; and the Harvard University Ledlie Prize in 1965. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1961, and became an American Society Professor in 1964.

Gorini met Annamaria Torriani-Gorini (1919-2013), a fellow scientist and eventually Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while working at the Instituto Giuliana Ronzoni during World War II. They later married and had one son, Daniel; Gorini had two other children, Jan and Isa Gorini, from a previous marriage. The Gorinis were also politically active; after the liberation of Milan on 25 April 1945, they created a rehabilitation center for Jewish children who then assisted in immigrating to Israel.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. I. Research records, 1953-1977, undated
  2. II. Professional activities records, 1964-1977, undated
  3. III. Writings and publications, 1922-1988, undated
  4. IV. Harvard Medical School and teaching records, 1956-1975, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

  1. Accession number 2016-017. Luigi Gorini. 2016 February 19.

Related Papers in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

  1. Papers of Jonathan R. Beckwith. H MS c370.
  2. Papers of Bernard D. Davis Papers. H MS c190.

Resources

  • Jonathan Beckwith and Dan Fraenkel. Luigi Gorini:1903-1976 Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1980.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Coup, 2015 December.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were removed from three ring binders and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals.
Link to catalog
Title
Gorini, Luigi, 1903-1976. Papers, 1922-1988: Finding Aid.
Status
completed
Author
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Description rules
dacs
Sponsor
The Luigi Gorini Papers were processed as part of the Center's Maximizing Microbiology project, with funding from a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Library.
EAD ID
med00216

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

Contact:
10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170