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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 63
had already felt, led him at age sixty-three to ask for early retirement from the headship at Harvard. This request was granted reluctantly, allowing Baird to establish a research laboratory at Scripps at the beginning of 1959. This event led to Eric Ball's service as interim chairman at Harvard, until a successor to Baird was identified in Eugene Kennedy.
LA JOLLA PHASES
Baird began research by himself at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla. He did bring along temporarily a skilled former assistant in Frances B. Nesbitt to teach him hepatic glycogen analysis, for which he had become embarrassed to depend on others. A resident former technician, Mrs. Jane Bein, was then added. These two together first confirmed the effect of pH increases in stimulating glucose synthesis in liver slices, provided that the buffer used was bicarbonate-carbonic acid and not the artificial "Tris," nor orthophosphate at unphysiological concentrations. When the bicarbonate and carbonic acid concentrations were kept at a fixed ratio by varying the two together, it became clear that at constant pH the effect of changing the aggregate CO2 concentration on glycogen synthesis from glucose was a large one, just as large as the effect of raising the pH at constant HCO3 or at constant pCO2. The effect of CO2 concentration was not seen with pyruvate as the glycogen precursor, so it had no connection with the carboxylation of pyruvate.
Eugene Dowdle had, in the meantime, been added as a postdoctoral associate. In 1960 Baird was awarded an NIH research grant, his first ever, to his astonishment for seven years rather than the cautious three years he had requested. This support extended then through his seventieth birthday. He also obtained his license for the use of radioactive