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Curiosity & Collaboration:
The Work of Michael Potter

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Waring Blendor 700, c. 1963


Donated by Dr. Rose Mage

Waring Blendor brand blender

Drs. Michael Potter and Rose Lieberman prepared their Freund’s adjuvant in a Waring Blendor (yes, that should be an “o”). An adjuvant is a substance that affects an action in a predictable way; Potter used Freund’s adjuvant to generate mouse plasma cell tumor cell lines. Freund’s adjuvant, named after Dr. Jules Freund, keeps an antigen from breaking down quickly and/or increases its effects.

In 1956, Jules Freund became the first chief of the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The adjuvant he developed is still used for some immunizations in animals. He used this Waring Blendor, which the 1964 Fisher Scientific catalog described as “designed for rapid pulping and mixing of materials to form fine suspensions, emulsions, and solutions…. The glass container is of clover-leaf shape, which causes a forceful flow.” Notice the label on the blender so that it was not used for making smoothies instead.

Freund won the 1959 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his work, which included much more than developing his adjuvant. Read the citation

For a complete look at Freund’s impact, see “Jules Freund, 1890-1960,” Journal of Immunology, 909(3), 1963, pp. 330-336.