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Correspondence

Letter from Robert Nalbandian to Linus Pauling. May 1, 1972.
Nalbandian writes to convey his shock that Pauling had been accused of being a racist for his promotion of genetic screening in the fight against sickle cell anemia. Nalbandian also discusses his and others recent research activities related to sickle cell disease.

Transcript

BLODGETT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN 49506

May 1, 1972

Professor Linus Pauling

Chemistry Department

Stanford University

Stanford, California 94305

Dear Professor Pauling:

It was a pleasure to see you again personally 2 weeks ago at Michigan State University and to hear you speak again.

I was stunned to hear in the question and answer period you, of all human beings, accused of racism because you, like myself, urge mass screening and vigorous genetic counseling against having children in ehterozygote S matings. The only hope of Black Americans and others of th elimination of this dreadful disease as soon as possible is by such methods. How pathetically confused the misguided zealots can be!!

I have enclosed a letter in LANCET which I wrote. I cite your work and also discuss in the last paragraph two new possible methods of action of urea in sickling which Dr. Murayama and I are now thinking about. Perhaps, if you find time, you may wish to comment.

Paul Wolf tells me that your attention is now directed to prostaglandins and their role in sickling. I feel certain that you will make major discoveries in this direction.

I learned yesterday at the medical school at Wayne yesterday that you will be the commencement speaker in May. I shall try to get to Detroit to hear you again.

I almost forgot to mention that you should also read the letter in LANCET on page 901 by Dr. Friedmann who cites the toxic action of long term cyanate exposure on kidney function. Cerami and Manning must reckon with this in their cyanate approach to sickling.

I have enclosed a 35 mm photo of the EMMY which our TV documentary won. We all believe that without your participation we never would have won it. I am having a large color print made up for you for your archives as a memento and will send it along later.

Most sincerely yours,

Robert M. Nalbandian, M.D.

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