In the first couple of years after Pauling became interested in molecular medicine he hoped to make people healthier with
artificial enzymes. He thought diseases could be combated by making enzymes that inhibit or induce chemical reactions that
occur inside the human body. Pauling aimed to learn more about chemical structures of proteins, enzymes, and other bodily
compounds in an effort to gain an understanding of the basics of diseases, as opposed to attacking each affliction individually
To aid him, Pauling teamed up with three men for a collaborative research project on mental illnesses, which was conducted
largely at Caltech. Two of the men, Dr. George Tarjan of Pacific State Hospital and Dr. Stanley Wright of UCLA Medical School,
worked with mentally disabled people. The other man was Richard Morgan, a member of the California Office of the Department
of Mental Hygiene. The four men discussed possible areas of research in 1955 and decided that Pauling should submit a grant
proposal to the Ford Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that aimed "to receive and administer funds for scientific, educational,
and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare." The four men received generous grants; the Ford Foundation gave Caltech
$450,000 over five years and UCLA $500,000.
In 1955 Caltech finished building the Norman W. Church Laboratory of Chemical Biology, the location for most of the new research.
In addition to money from the Ford Foundation, Caltech also received from the Rockefeller Foundation $700,000 to help build
the Church Laboratory, and an additional $800,000 for the research conducted in it.