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Biomedicine in museums

Exhibition on the history of protein research — call for artefacts

By February 27, 2009No Comments

We are currently preparing a small exhibit on the culture and history of proteins and protein research, which is planned to open Friday 4 september in connection with the official opening of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

The aim of the exhibition — which shall be placed in the main hall of the Faculty of Health Sciences’s Panum building on U Copenhagen North Campus (right at the entrance to the new eco-friendly and health-promoting canteen) — is to give a historical and cultural perspective on the current focus on proteins in biomedicine and biotechnology.

We want to create an object-rich exhbition, and therefore we would like to get in contact with laboratory and clinical scientists on the Øresund area who may provide us with objects, images and documents (for loan or as gifts) from the last 50 years, which can illustrate research on or clinical use of proteins: measuring instruments, separation equipment, images from laboratory environments, posters, and so forth.

We are especially interested in everyday laboratory and clinical objects, like paper electrophoresis strips, gels, blotting membranes, immunoprecipition plates — in other words, things which laboratory workers usually throw out, but which give a good feeling of how protein research is done in practice. Call or write me (see address here).

To stimulate your imagination with a (more than 50 years old) thing — here are two iconic artefacts in the history of protein research: two vial bottles of raw insulin from the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo from around 1935. Insulin was the first purified protein with a well-defined therapeutic purpose and it was also the first protein to be sequenced (in 1955 by Frederick Sanger; Nobel Prize in 1958).

(the vials are from Novo Nordisk‘s collection of historical objects)

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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