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Pollock, Martin Rivers, 1914-1999 (professor of biology, University of Edinburgh)



Martin Rivers Pollock was born on 10 December 1914, the son of Hamilton Rivers Pollock and Eveline Morton Pollock. He attended Winchester College before gaining a place at Trinity College Cambridge in 1933 (Senior Scholarship 1936). At Cambridge he studied Medicine (pre-clinical), moving to University College Hospital Medical School, London to complete his medical training in 1937-1939. He qualified M.B., B.Chir. in 1940.

Pollock held hospital appointments at University College Hospital and Brompton Chest Hospital 1939-1941 before joining the Emergency Public Health Laboratory Service as a Bacteriologist in 1941. In 1943 he was seconded to a Medical Research Council unit to work on infective hepatitis. In 1945 Pollock was formally taken onto the staff of the Medical Research Council. He worked at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill, London, initially under Sir Paul Fildes before being appointed Head of the Division of Bacterial Physiology in 1949. He remained at the NIMR to 1965, spending two periods (1948 and 1952-1953) studying in the laboratory of Jacques Monod at the Institut Pasteur, Paris. Pollock had for some years being considering the possibility of establishing a unit for teaching and research in molecular biology, which would bring together bacterial genetics and biochemistry, and a number of possible locations had been evaluated. M.M. Swann, the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Edinburgh, persuaded Pollock to move north and in 1965 Pollock was appointed Professor of Biology at Edinburgh. Shortly afterwards, his colleague William Hayes moved from the MRC Unit for Bacterial Genetics at Hammersmith Hospital London. Together they established at Edinburgh the Department of Molecular Biology, the first such teaching department in the world. Pollock took early retirement in 1976, moving to Dorset. He took no further active part in scientific research but maintained his growing interest in the relationship between science and art, organising a major conference on the subject in 1981. He died in December 1999. Pollock's thirty years of scientific research from the end of the Second World War, both at the NIMR and Edinburgh University, focused on enzyme induction in bacteria. He studied the mechanism by which beta-lactamase enzymes (particularly penicillinase) are involved in the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. For his contributions in this area Pollock was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1962. In the 1970s Pollock became interested in developments in biotechnology and artificial intelligence, encouraging interdepartmental cooperation in these areas.

Found in 347 Collections and/or Records:

Correspondence and papers re. Pollock's application for a visa to visit the USA, 1966-1967

Identifier: Coll-1586/A/A.4
Scope and Content

The material consists of Correspondence and papers relating to Martin Rivers Pollock's application for a visa to visit the USA, dated 1966-1967. It includes Pollock's 4 page typescript, 'Memorandum on a cancellation of a U.S. visa'.

Dates: 1966-1967

Correspondence and papers re US visa application, 1970

Identifier: Coll-1586/A/A.5
Scope and Contents

The material consists of correspondence and papers relating to Martin Rivers Pollock's US visa application, dated 1970.

Dates: 1970

Correspondence and papers regarding Pollock's resignation from Edinburgh, 1975-1977

Identifier: Coll-1586/C/2/C.9
Scope and Content

The material consists of correspondence and papers of Martin Rivers Pollock relating to his resignation from Edinburgh Unviersity, dated 1975-1977. It includes a copy of the Senatus special minute recording the University's thanks to Pollock, 1977.

Dates: 1975-1977

Correspondence and papers regarding superannuation, October 1945, 1965-1976

Identifier: Coll-1586/C/2/C.10
Scope and Content

The material consists of correspondence and papers of Martin Rivers Pollock regarding superannuation It includes a letter of appointment to the Medical Research Council, dated October 1945 required for calculation of superannuation entitlement.

Dates: October 1945, 1965-1976

Correspondence arising from Pollock's letter, January 1981-February 1981

Identifier: Coll-1586/E/1/54
Scope and Contents

The material consists of correspondence arising from Pollock's letterto The Guardian regarding commercials during the broadcast of ‘Playing for Time’ on ITV, dated January 1981-February 1981.

Dates: January 1981-February 1981

Correspondence between Martin Rivers Pollock and colleagues , July 1977-November 1977

Identifier: Coll-1586/E/1/E.39
Scope and Contents

The material consists of correspondence between Martin Rivers Pollock and colleagues to whom he circulated the draft and on the wider issue of chance in biology, July 1977-November 1977.

Dates: July 1977-November 1977

Correspondence chiefly about research topics, 1946-1959

Identifier: Coll-1255/4/1
Scope and Contents The correspondence covers many aspects of Beale's early career, including his applications for various placements following his demobilisation from the army, his work with Tracy Sonneborn, his appointment to the Institute of Animal Genetics and professional correspondence with colleagues around the world. Correspondents include: Eric Ashby, G.W. Beadle, Mick Callan, D.G. Catchside, J.F. Danielli, M. Demerec, Boris Ephrussi, David W. Goodall, Henry Harris, Maxime Lamotte, Joshua Lederberg,...
Dates: 1946-1959

Correspondence, chiefly of appreciation of the lecture following its publication, January 1971-March 1971

Identifier: Coll-1586/F/1/F.69
Scope and Contents

The material consists of correspondence with Martin Rivers Pollock, chiefly in appreciation of the lecture 'The Discovery of DNA' following its publication, dated January 1971-March 1971.

Dates: January 1971-March 1971

Correspondence, chiefly regarding F. Griffith, 1969

Identifier: Coll-1586/F/1/F.66
Scope and Contents

The material consists of correspondence with Martin Rivers Pollock, mainly relating to British microbiologist, Frederick Griffith (1877-1941), dated 1969.

Dates: 1969

Additional filters:

Archival Object 346
Collection 1
Lectures and Lecturing 109
Correspondence 98
Biology 27
Penicillin 17
Santiago (Chile) 6