Jane and David Richardson Papers, 1969-1992

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Summary

Creator:
Richardson, Jane S.
Abstract:
Contains the professional papers of Jane Richardson, James B. Duke professor of Biochemistry, and David Richardson, professor of Biochemistry and founding director of the Structural Biology and Biophysics Graduate Training Program at Duke University. Types of materials include correspondence, sketches, photographs, drawings, notes, computer printouts and visualizations, negatives, reprints, and clippings pertaining to the Richardson's work and research while at Duke University. Major subjects include the structure of copper, zinc superoxide dismutase, protein de novo design, the Protein Data Bank, and 1981 textbook chapter "The Anatomy and Taxonomy of Protein Structure." Materials date from 1969 to 1992.
Extent:
10.25 Linear Feet (1 carton, 4 flat boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 2 map tubes, 4 large map folders, 7 small map folders)
Collection ID:
MC.0167

Background

Scope and content:

Contains correspondence, sketches, photographs, drawings, notes, computer printouts and visualizations, negatives, reprints, and clippings pertaining to the Richardson's work and research while at Duke University. Major subjects include the structure of copper, zinc superoxide dismutase, protein de novo design, the protein data bank, and 1981 textbook chapter "The Anatomy and Taxonomy of Protein Structure." Materials date from 1969 to 1992.

Biographical / historical:

Jane Shelby grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, and received her BA in philosophy from Swarthmore College in 1962. While at Swarthmore College, Jane met David Richardson, who received a BA in chemistry in 1962. Following graduation, they married and David continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursing a PhD in chemistry while working in the laboratory of Albert F. Cotton and researching small molecule inorganic chemistry and crystallography. Meanwhile, Jane attended Harvard University to earn a MA in philosophy and master's in teaching in 1966. In 1964, Jane became a technician in the same lab where David was conducting his graduate research. The Richardson's began working to solve the structure of the staphylococcal nuclease, an enzyme that cleaves DNA and RNA. At this time, only two proteins had been solved (hemoglobin and myoglobin) and protein crystallography was in its infancy. They determined the structure of the nuclease in 1969, making it the tenth protein structure to be determined. David received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968. The Richardsons then spent at a year at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before coming to Duke University in 1970.
Jane Richardson was an associate in Duke University's Department of Anatomy until 1984, a medical research assistant in the Department of Biochemistry until 1988, and a medical research associate professor in the Department of Anatomy until 1991, when she became a James B. Duke Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. David Richardson was a professor in Duke University's Department of Biochemistry beginning in 1970. Upon their arrival to Duke, David and Jane Richardson established a lab and began working on the structure of copper, zinc superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that protects all living things against the toxicity of oxygen. In the 1980s the Richardsons started exploring synthetic biochemistry and computational biology and helped open up the field of protein de novo design. During the course of their work, the Richadsons designed and made synthetic proteins. These synthetic proteins reveal a great deal about how natural proteins function. In the 1990s, the Richardsons pioneered molecular graphics for personal computers by developing the kinemage system of molecular graphics and the Mage program to display them on small computers, and they developed all-atom contact analysis to measure goodness of fit inside proteins and in interactions with surrounding molecules. In the 2010s, the Richardson lab studied structural motifs in RNA and proteins as part of the RNA Ontology Consortium. The Richardson's lab also collaborated in development of the Phenix software suite for X-ray crystallography and hosted the MolProbity, a structure-validation web service that provides broad-spectrum solidly based evaluation of model quality for proteins and nucleic acids. As of 2019, Jane is a James B. Duke professor and David a professor in Duke's Department of Biochemistry.
Jane Richardson is widely recognized for her creation of ribbon drawings to schematize protein three-dimensional structures, first published in "Advances in Protein Chemistry" in 1981. The drawings stemmed from Jane's realization that a general classification scheme could be developed from the recurring patterns of structural motifs within the "folds" of proteins. She created ribbon drawings of those folds, making a uniform set of conventions for drawing the seventy-five protein structures that had been solved at that time. The drawings have been used widely in computer adaptations, and her 1981 paper continues to be cited. Jane was awarded three honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Richmond. In 1985, Jane Richardson was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in structural biology. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991, then the Institute of Medicine in 2006. In 2010, Jane was elected president of the Biophysical Society. She also is the co-recipient of the Protein Society's Amgen Award with David (1995) and the Biophysical Society's Emily M. Gray Award (2001). From 2012 to 2013 Jane Richardson was the president of the Biophysical Society, and in this capacity she began WikiProject on Biophysics to encourage society members and others to edit and improve biophysics-related Wikipedia articles. She was a fellow of the American Crystallographic Association in 2012. In 2019 Jane received the Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics.
David Richardson is the founding director of the Structural Biology and Biophysics Graduate Training Program at Duke University. He received numerous honors including Science Digest's 100 Best Innovations of 1985, a BioTechnology Winter Symposium Special Achievement Award (1995), and the Duke University Gordon Hammes Teaching and Mentoring Award (2009). In 2012, David was honored as the distinguished speaker of the North Carolina section of the American Chemical Society.

Acquisition information:
Accession A2018.024 (gift by Jane and David Richardson, May 2018), Accession A2018.027 (gift by Jane and David Richardson, May 2018)
Processing information:

Processed by Caroline Waller under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: May 2019

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Copper, Zinc Superoxide Dismutase project, 1973-1982, undated; The Anatomy and Taxonomy of Protein Structures, 1980-1981; Principles and Patterns of Protein Confirmation, 1980-1989; Other Projects, 1971-1991, undated; Personal/Biographical, 1978-1980, undated.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

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Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Jane and David Richardson Papers, Duke University Medical Center Archives.