Ptashne DNA Firm Requests Lab Space in Harvard Hospital

Genetics Institute. Inc. (G.I.). a commercial DNA research firm founded and operated by a Harvard professor, last month asked to lease laboratory space in a Boston teaching hospital affiliated with the Medical School.

The Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) will decide next week whether to grant G.I. the non-renewable 18-month lease. Stanley Burschfield, vice president of BWH said this week.

Mark S. Ptashne, chairman of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, founded G.I. last fall after the University voted not to establish a company that would develop and manufacture drugs from recombinant DNA using Harvard-owned patents. Harvard's participation in such a company would have involved a major role for Ptashne.

President Bok cited the need to preserve academic values as a reason for the university's decision.

Community protest about potential dangers of DNA technology and ordinances restricting DNA experimentation recently forced G.I. to withdraw its application to set up its own laboratory in Somerville. Boston residents are more likely to accept the company, provided "the industry is carefully monitored." James Crawford, first vice president of the Mission Hill Planning Commission (MHPC), a community group in the neighborhood of BWH, said this week.


"We can't simply continue chasing G.I. to carefully reevaluate its aid programs," Scott said yesterday. He added that the University has "no idea what changes we're going to make," and stressed the redistribution idea is only one possible plan.

Keenan predicted "the worst squeeze in living memory" for graduate education in the next few years. The GSAS can do little to cope with the cuts till more details of the Reagan budget become available, he said, adding. "Any tactic we use would have to be specific. When you're entering a storm, you batten down the hatches, but you don't start pumping till you know where you're leaking.