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Letter from Linus Pauling to Jerry Donohue. November 19, 1952.
Pauilng writes to detail his understanding as to the provenance of the coiled-coils idea in relation to the structure of alpha-keratin. Pauling also suggests that Donohue might apply for work at the University of Colorado and expresses his hope that the remainder of Donohue's tenure in Cambridge be a comfortable and productive one.


19 November 1952

Dr. Jerry Donohue

Cavendish Laboratory

Cambridge University

Cambridge, England

Dear Jerry:

I thank you for sending your letter, with mention of Crick's letter to Nature "Is α-Keratin a Coiled Coil?".

I remember that when I was in Cambridge Crick asked me if I had thought about the possibility of α helixes twisting around one another, and I said that I had - I don't remember that we said any more about the matter. In fact, I have been trying to account for the x-ray data, etc, for the α -keratin proteins on this basis, and after considerable work felt that the answers had been found. Corey and I sent a paper to Nature about two months ago, on this subject, but it has not yet appeared, I wrote to the editors last week, asking when it would be published. We are writing several detailed papers about these compound helixes now.

I didn't have a chance to say anything to Stanley about the Berkeley job, when I was up there, I judge that things are not too promising, from what you say. I have accordingly just written to Professor Stanley J. Cristol, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, recommending you for appointment there. They want a man who would accept appointment to the staff and also be willing to serve as Department Chairman, for a limited term. They are interested only in men eligible for the rank of Associate Professor or full Professor. I think that Colorado is a fine place, and that this would be a good job for you — the University is in Boulder. Why do you not write to Cristol, giving him detailed information about your career.

I hope that you finish up the cysteyl glycine sodium iodide structure.

I'm glad to learn that you have a good house. We were disturbed to know that you were having trouble. I know that housing is a problem in Cambridge.

Dr. Jerry Donohue Page 2 November 19, 1952

Thanks for the news about Peter. He writes to me once in a while -- not very often, however. I hope that he is settling down to work.

With best regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling:ka

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