The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 252, Issue 6, pp 541–548 | Cite as

Life During Wartime: A Personal Recollection of the Circa 1990 Prestegard Lab and Its Contributions to Membrane Biophysics

  • Charles R. SandersEmail author
Topical Review


A subjective account is presented of challenges and excitement of being a postdoctoral trainee in the lab of James H. Prestegard at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut from 1989 to 1991. This includes accounts of the early development of bicelles and of oriented sample NMR results that contributed to our modern understanding of the properties of the water–lipid interface of disordered phase biological membranes.


Bicelles Membranes Interface NMR Spectroscopy 



I am grateful for 1989–1991 support and many good memories to Jim and Bert Prestegard, all the members of the Prestegard lab and their partners/families, honorary Prestegard lab members from other labs, friends in the adjacent Moore, Crothers, Caradonna, Brudvig, and Zilm labs, the Yale NMR staff and community, Becky and our sons Stephen, and Noah (born 2 h after President Bush’s announcement of the end of the 1st Gulf War and only 20 min after we reached the Yale Hospital), our parents and siblings who encouraged us from Ohio and Illinois, and our friends from the gone-but-not-forgotten Westside Church of Christ. I thank Ming-Daw Tsai (now at the Academia Sinica in Taipei) for helping me to navigate his papers on phosphorothioate phospholipids. The writing of this document was supported by NIH Grants RO1 HL122010, RO1 NS095989, and RF1 AG056147. I thank Kathleen Howard and Blake Hill for their helpful comments and archival materials, including (from KH) the Yale era photo of Dr. Prestegard that appears in the Table of Contents graphic. Wade Van Horn, Larry Marnett, and Tony Forster are thanked for helpful suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryVanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic SciencesNashvilleUSA

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