Upon winning the 1975 Lasker Award--and the $2,500 check that came with it--for the discovery of hypothalamic hormones, Roger Guillemin did not think about buying equipment for his lab or funding his future research. He thought about art.
The day after collecting his prize money, Guillemin went to the Andre Emmerich Gallery in New York City. "I wanted to put my Lasker Award money towards buying a painting by Helen Frankenthaler," Guillemin says. He walked out of the gallery with a 9 x 5 foot painting, entitled "Island Road," and it hung in his office at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California for the next fifteen years.He's always been interested in fine art. "I used to have water colors and oils and things, but never with any aim except my own enjoyment," Guillemin says of his childhood in Dijon, France. "Later on, when I became a young...

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