Website Search
ID 16467

Biography 20: Franklin William Stahl (1929-)

Franklin "Frank" Stahl was born in Boston. He received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1951. Stahl then went to the University of Rochester for graduate work.

While finishing up his Ph.D., Stahl attended a molecular biology course at Woods Hole. The course was being taught by James Watson and Francis Crick, and it was here that Stahl met Matthew Meselson. As they both tell it, during a break in the course, Meselson introduced himself to Stahl who was sitting under a big tree drinking and selling gin and tonics. At the time, Meselson was a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology; he was interested in exploring new methods of experimentation. Stahl had the experience and the math to help Meselson design these experiments. They hit it off right away and made plans for Stahl to do post-doctoral work at Caltech.

In 1957, Stahl and Meselson developed the technique of density gradient centrifugation and used it to prove that DNA was replicated in a semi-conservative way, as predicted by Watson and Crick in their 1953 paper. Meselson and Stahl's paper appeared in 1958.

In 1959, Stahl accepted a position at the University of Oregon where he is now a distinguished professor of Molecular Biology. His current research interest is on the mechanisms of genetic recombination.Franklin "Frank" Stahl was born in Boston. He received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1951. Stahl then went to the University of Rochester for graduate work.

While finishing up his Ph.D., Stahl attended a molecular biology course at Woods Hole. The course was being taught by James Watson and Francis Crick, and it was here that Stahl met Matthew Meselson. As they both tell it, during a break in the course, Meselson introduced himself to Stahl who was sitting under a big tree drinking and selling gin and tonics. At the time, Meselson was a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology; he was interested in exploring new methods of experimentation. Stahl had the experience and the math to help Meselson design these experiments. They hit it off right away and made plans for Stahl to do post-doctoral work at Caltech.

In 1957, Stahl and Meselson developed the technique of density gradient centrifugation and used it to prove that DNA was replicated in a semi-conservative way, as predicted by Watson and Crick in their 1953 paper. Meselson and Stahl's paper appeared in 1958.

In 1959, Stahl accepted a position at the University of Oregon where he is now a distinguished professor of Molecular Biology. His current research interest is on the mechanisms of genetic recombination.

Description:
Franklin Stahl and Matthew Meselson invented the technique of density gradient centrifugation and used this to prove that DNA is replicated semi-conservatively.
Keywords:
density gradient centrifugation, james watson and francis crick, meselson and stahl, watson and crick, stahl and meselson, matthew meselson, molecular biology course, gin and tonics, francis crick, doctoral work, harvard university
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

16466. Biography 20: Matthew Stanley Meselson (1930- )
Matthew Meselson and Franklin Stahl invented the technique of density gradient centrifugation and used this to prove that DNA is replicated semi-conservatively.
15461. The double helix and the Nobel Prize, James Watson
James Watson talks about who he thinks should have won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
16462. Video 20: Matthew Meselson, clip 3
How Meselson came to read the Watson and Crick paper, then think about ways to experimentally test how DNA replicates.
16460. Video 20: Matthew Meselson, clip 1
Explaining density gradient centrifugation.
15543. James Watson and Francis Crick
James Watson and Francis Crick, Cambridge University, 1953
15328. Meeting Frank Stahl, Matthew Meselson
Matt Meselson talks about how he met Frank Stahl, his partner in "the beautiful experiment." Together they proved that DNA is replicated semi-conservatively.
16454. Video 20: Frank Stahl, clip 1
Describing his first meeting with James Watson and Matthew Meselson.
16427. Gallery 19: James Watson and Francis Crick
James Watson (R) and Francis Crick (L) walking along the banks at Cambridge University.
16491. Biography 21: Sydney Brenner (1927 - )
Sydney Brenner showed that mRNA was the unstable intermediate that carried the message from DNA to the ribosomes.
16022. James Watson and Francis Crick, 1953
The DNA molecule is shaped like a twisted ladder.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving