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Research notebooks of Professor George Brownlee and his assistants


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Comprises 28 research notebooks covering experiments carried out by Brownlee, his students and assistants, particularly during his time at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology of the University of Oxford, 1980-2008.

The descriptions of the notebooks were compiled by Professor George Brownlee, 1971-2008. His original descriptions are also provided in each box.


  • Creation: 1971-2008


4.0 Linear metres (28 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, MS. 12364/1

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12364/1-28

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12364


Laboratory notebooks of Professor George Brownlee, the E.P. Abraham Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.

Biographical / Historical

Professor George Gow Brownlee, FMedSci, FRS, was born in 1942 and took his degree and then a PhD at Emmanuel College Cambridge, studying under double Nobel Laureate Dr. Fred Sanger at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He worked for the Medical Research Council in Cambridge from 1966 until 1980 and then came to Oxford as a Fellow of Lincoln College and the first holder of the E.P. Abraham Professor of Chemical Pathology chair at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, which he held until retirement in 2008. In 1987, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. He is a trustee and former chair of the University of Oxford's EP Abraham Cephalosporin Fund.

Professor Brownlee's research interests were in molecular biology, and he and his group made significant discoveries in sequencing RNA and DNA during the early days of that field of research, starting in the 1960s when he contributed to the development of RNA sequencing methods, and used them to determine the sequence of the 5S ribosomal RNA, which was at that time the longest nucleic acid to have been sequenced. In 1977, his group discovered the existence of pseudogenes - abnormal, mutated genes - which are now known to be ubiquitous in the genome of all organisms. After 1980, Brownlee became more involved in applied medical problems, and succeeded in isolating the clotting factor IX gene, present in people with haemophilia B. This led to improved treatment. He went on to work on gene regulation in the influenza virus. In 1999 Brownlee and Ervin Fodor sequenced the RNA genome of influenza. This allowed them to isolate recombinant influenza virus in cell culture, which led to improved vaccines for children.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Professor George Brownlee, Jan 2017.

Research notebooks of Professor George Brownlee
Finding aid prepared by Charlotte McKillop-Mash
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom