California Institute of Technology
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
6.5 linear feet
Gordon Alles's major research interest was the relation between the chemical constitution and physiological actions of compounds acting as stimulants or inhibitors of the central or peripheral nervous systems. This included a 1939 study in conjunction with Dr. Haagen-Smit of Caltech on the physiological effects of cannabis. During the 1940s he worked in the field of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-amebic agents. He is best known for discovering the physiological properties of benzedrine and helping to isolate insulin. In addition to maintaining his academic affiliations, Alles served as a research associate to Smith, Kline & French Laboratories from 1934-1952, and he established his own research laboratories in Pasadena in 1940. The majority of the papers are legal files related to a long-standing patent dispute between Alles, Dr. George Piness and Smith, Kline & French Laboratories over the manufacturing rights to medicinal agents including benezdrine salts and phenyl-isopropylamine salts. There is also a small amount of Caltech-related material (Gordon A. Alles Laboratory of Molecular Biology), biographical and bibliographical material, miscellaneous correspondence, material related to his wartime research and a complete set of Alles reprints.