University of Buffalo

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews David J. Haas, President of the Tecco Corporation. Haas discusses his work as founder of Tempbadge and he recounts his childhood in Buffalo and then Texas. He describes his undergraduate education at the University of Buffalo, where biophysics was beginning to start as a distinct discipline. Haas explains his decision to remain at Buffalo for his graduate research, working under Fred Snell, and he describes his introduction to crystallography from David Harker at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute. He emphasizes the critical support provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), both to him as a graduate student and to biophysics generally at the time. Haas discusses his postdoctoral research in cryo-crystallography with David Phillips at the Royal Institute in London, and his brief work beforehand at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC. He describes his subsequent work at the Weizmann Institute in Israel where he continued his research in cryo-crystallography, and he describes the scene there during the Six Day War. Haas discusses his work at the Philips Corporation in New York, where he became involved with the X-ray research that would go into security scanners at airports and stadium venues. He explains his decision to go into business for himself with the launch of Temtec for which he created self-expiring visitor badges. At the end of the interview, Haas provides an overview for some of the major advances in biophysics over the course of his career, and he expresses optimism regarding the viability of antiviral therapies for Covid-19 by the end of the year.