Oral History Interview: Roswell Boutwell (1342)
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Radiation Effects Research Foundation
Council for Tobacco Research
National Cancer Advisory Board
American Cancer Society
Roswell K. Boutwell
Abstract: In his May 2013 interview with Molly Laas, Roswell K. Boutwell discussed his youth, undergraduate years at Beloit College and his graduate career at UW-Madison, a period spanning roughly from the 1910s to the 1940s. Topics discussed included Boutwell's parents, the UW-Madison Biochemistry Department, the biochemistry professor Carl Baumann, and Boutwell's recruitment to the McArdle Laboratory as a professor of oncology. Boutwell returned to the subject of his father, to discuss his influence on his career path. Boutwell also discussed his relationships with Conrad Elvehjem and E.B. Hart. Boutwell commented on his recruitment to McArdle He spoke of his research on calorie restriction and its relationship to cancer, as well as his work on the biochemical mechanisms of tumor production. This interview was conducted for inclusion in the UW-Madison Oral History Program. Roswell K. Boutwell continued his explanation of his research at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. He discussed his lab's efforts to unravel the molecular changes that take place in cells during tumor formation, and their attempts to create a drug that would disrupt this process. He also commented on the role of his graduate students and postdocs in this work. Boutwell then detailed his work on national committees and his time spent as the chief of research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Japan. Roswell K. Boutwell discussed his years as a professor at McArdle laboratory. The discussion focused on his relationship with colleagues and McArdle, such as Jim Miller, Betty Miller, Harold Rusch, and Gerry Mueller. Boutwell also talked about the culture of the laboratory at McArdle. He also discussed the old McArdle building and his role in helping with the design and construction of of the the current McArdle building in the 1960s.