Joseph Craft was born in Wilson County, North Carolina, one of three children. His father was a farmer, his mother a housewife. He did not leave the farm area except for school, a mile away, until he went the nine miles to University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill. Neither parent was college-educated, but all three children attended college. Craft's siblings became teachers; Craft did very well in school so was expected to become a doctor. He liked chemistry, liking the way organic chemistry was put together. Accepted at both Duke University and the University of North Carolina, he chose UNC for medical school, where he liked the way his professors communicated and decided he wanted to be an academic clinician. Wanting further training, Craft accepted a position as house officer in internal medicine at Yale University. For him Yale represented a transition between farm and city, the South and the North. He found his teachers interesting but thought they did not add to the body of knowledge, as he wanted to do. During his three busy years of residency he considered switching to research. After a further year in general medicine he accepted a postdoc in rheumatology at Yale. He chose rheumatology because its diseases were not well-defined and had few specific remedies. While doing his postdoc he did his clinical work in his spare time. He began by studying Lyme disease, but its cause and cure already known so he switched to autoimmunity in general. Craft discusses his early publications, feeling they were solid but not innovative; he explains how the Pew grant helped him make the transition from clinic to lab; he talks about his collaborations with John Hardin and Tsuneyo Mimori. He details his funding, in particular his first National Institutes of Health grant. He talks about competition, tenure, a typical day at the lab, and his administrative duties. Craft concludes his interview with reflections on the interaction between his clinical practice and his science work. He feels that autoimmune diseases are better categorized and defined now, and he hopes to continue his current work but to do an even better job. He believes that there is a good possibility cause and cure will be discovered accidentally someday.
Alfred T. Malouf was born into and grew up in an extended Lebanese family. His father originally owned a garage, but he switched to a restaurant. Both parents and grandparents were wonderful cooks, and Alfred loves to cook also. Unfortunately, Alfred's father's heart was bad, so he had to retire from the restaurant. Alfred and his brother had begun working there when they were very young, and during high school and college they were able to manage the restaurant for their father. Alfred's upbringing was strict Roman Catholic, and his grandfather had a large influence on their family; having gone only through fourth grade he placed a high value on education and took the grandchildren to dinner at Anthony's Fish House if one got A's in school. Alfred cannot remember when he was not curious about how things worked, and he loved to take things apart, particularly clocks. He also loved the water, especially scuba diving. He had good high-school science and mathematics teachers, but he did not think especially about college. His parents and grandfather thought science was the only legitimate discipline. He entered the University of California, San Diego, as a biology major. He was fascinated by how the brain works, and he took literature and philosophy classes as part of his desire to understand. During Alfred's first year his grandfather died, a very large blow that helped Alfred focus anew on science. He took a class in pharmacology with Morton Printz, a class he found "phenomenal," and spent two years in Printz's lab. He considered getting a PhD in winemaking, but decided to study neuroscience instead, calculating that he could make wine later in his life. (He intends to do so when he retires. ) When he investigated graduate schools he found the atmosphere at Johns Hopkins University special, so he entered Joseph Coyle's lab to work on kainic acid. Next he collaborated with Ronald L. Schnaar to learn tissue culture techniques; this was lucky as it turns out that Alfred is allergic to rodents. Coyle's medical training added a valuable "bench to bed" dimension to Alfred's research. Still fascinated by how things work—in this case living cells—he accepted a postdoc in Floyd Bloom's lab at Scripps Research Institute, where he learned physiology and electrophysiology. From there he accepted a research fellowship in Philip Schwartzkroin's lab at the University of Washington, studying the physiology of the hippocampus. There he met a pharmacology student, Stephanie Orellana, whom he eventually married and with whom he has two daughters. Stephanie worked for Ellis Avner, a pediatric nephrologist, until he left for Case Western Reserve University; Avner has since recruited both Maloufs to tenure-track associate professorships. Alfred has his lab set up now, and work is now going quite well. His proposal for the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences award included his study of GABAergic neurons and epileptiform activity and the effect of zinc on the GABA system. He has taken up optical imaging of CA3 pyramidal cells and has become interested in Alzheimer's disease. Alfred finds basic science exciting, but he also loves to see clinical relevance; he tries to balance intellectual pursuit with societal goals. He also has to balance lab management with teaching; and the work of two scientists with a family that includes two young daughters.
Jerry R. Faust began his childhood on his father's farm in rural Texas. When his parents divorced he moved with his mother, a nurse, and his brother to Dallas, Texas, where he attended junior high school and high school. When he was in eighth grade he took an advanced biology class in which the newly-discovered ATP was discussed at length, but in high school he "left biology" for chemistry. He loved chemistry, a field that was really taking off at the time. A high school chemistry teacher proved an important role model, and an influential school trip to a research laboratory confirmed his desire to become a scientist. Faust's chemistry teacher was also the basketball coach, and Faust played well enough to be offered a basketball scholarship to Stephen F. Austin State University. As he says, he went to college to play basketball, not to learn, so he rejected an offer from Rice University, as studying might have gotten in the way of basketball. At Austin State he declared a major in chemistry and minored in biology, soon developing an interest in biochemistry. He considered working in biochemistry to be a way to make a contribution to society. After graduation Faust took a position as a chemist. He spent a boring year testing materials before deciding to go to graduate school. He took a biochemistry course taught by Edward Bellion, and entered his lab at University of Texas at Arlington. There he continued to develop his interest in biochemistry. He felt he had certain advantages coming to biochemistry as a chemist rather than a biologist. After finishing a master's degree, Faust accepted a position as research associate in the Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Faust describes Brown's and Goldstein's backgrounds; his role in the lab's work on cholesterol metabolism; and learning opportunities in the lab. He also explains their Nobel Prize for research into LDL. After being there for eleven years he went to E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company as a principal investigator in the cardiology unit. Faust describes the structure and research resources of the Du Pont Experimental Station and his projects there. He explains his professional satisfaction in designing and implementing research per se, irrespective of clinical applications. Faust's preference for following tangents rather than pursuing a strictly linear line of research led him next to the decision to pursue a PhD in the physiology department at Tufts University, where he entered James Fred Dice's lab. Being a student again was different and strange. Here he discusses how the need to meet funding requirements affects the direction of research; the value of funding sources that allow for creative research; and the advantages of increasing cooperation between labs. He continues with a discussion of Dice as a mentor; his own mentoring and managing style; influence on his research of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award; grant writing; and competition with Peter Pentchev's lab over work on cholesterol transport in Niemann-Pick type C disease. He has more to say about the competition with the Pentchev lab; differences between the grant review process at the National Science Foundation and that at the National Institutes of Health; science funding in general; and his lab's work on neuronal ceroid lipfuscinosis. Collaboration with foreign labs leads to foreign students, difficult to fund and difficult to place after graduation, especially since principal investigator positions are so scarce. He finishes with a description of how he and his partner, also a scientist at Tufts with whom he collaborates on projects, balance their work life with their home life.
Dimitar B. Nikolov grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, the only child of a mother who is still a chemist and a father who was an electrical engineer. His paternal grandparents lived with them and cared for Nikolov while his parents worked. Nikolov often accompanied his mother to her lab, and he feels that he is a scientist because of both genes and upbringing. He attended local schools (all schools in Bulgaria were public), which he thinks gave him a broader and better education than most American children get. He always liked physics and math classes and competed in national contests, doing so well that he did not have to take the entrance exam required of everyone else and could go to whatever school he chose. He enrolled in the biotechnology program at Sofia University partly to avoid compulsory military service, as permitted by the higher educational system in Bulgaria, and he finished master's degrees in both physics and biology. He worked in Peter Antonov's laboratory on plant membrane fusion for his degree in biology. During college he also met and married his wife, who was in the same program. After the fall of the Berlin Wall it became easier for Nikolov to attend a foreign university, and since the majority of good papers were from the United States, he decided to apply to a PhD program here. He chose Rockefeller University at first for neuroscience, but he changed his mind, switching to structural biology and working on transcription proteins in Steven Burley's lab. He describes the graduate program at Rockefeller; Burley's laboratory; a typical day in graduate school; and the process of doing x-ray crystallography. He talks about his graduate work on the structure of the TATA box transcription initiation elements. Meanwhile, his wife had paused her PhD studies to have their first child and then, nine years later, their second. She has since become manager of a lab at Rockefeller. After finishing his PhD, Nikolov decided against a postdoc and accepted a very good offer of a faculty position at Sloan-Kettering Institute. He talks about setting up his lab, its make-up, and his management style. His research has focused on axon guidance molecules in early development, for which he hopes to find practical applications. Nikolov discusses his funding history, the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant on his research, and his belief that collaboration between academia and industrial science is important. He explains his grant-writing process, some of his professional duties and teaching responsibilities, and goes into detail about his current research in structural biology on angiopoietic receptors and ligands. He tells how he writes journal articles, how he sets his research agenda, what he thinks of competition in science, and his thoughts on how the national scientific agenda should be set. Nikolov continues with more insight into his views on improving science education in the United States and the role of the scientist in increasing public interest in science. He concludes his interview with a discussion of his professional goals and his future research on cell signaling and communication in neural development.
Paul D. Gollnick was born and mostly raised in Pullman, Washington. For one year when he was about 10 (or else in eighth grade) he and his family lived in Stockholm, Sweden, where his father was on sabbatical. Because his father was a scientist, an exercise physiologist, Paul was, from a young age, disposed to enter science himself. Reinforcing that desire were hours spent helping his father in his father's lab, and a high-school chemistry teacher who also inspired him. Paul's mother was a musician and music teacher but was unable to interest any of her children in music. Paul was not adept at most sports, he says, but he did take up and continues to enjoy golf. When he was deciding about college, he had to stay in state for financial reasons; he chose Washington State because he believed they had better science programs. He decided to major in biochemistry because he had discovered an interest in biology as well as chemistry and thought that biochemistry nicely combined the two. Biochemistry majors were new around the country at that time, so he felt also that the field would be dynamic and exciting. As an undergraduate he worked in Bruce McFadden's laboratory, producing an enzyme inhibitor. Realizing that working in pure science would require a graduate degree, he entered Iowa State University. At Iowa State Gollnick had hoped to work with Stanley Cox, who was studying gene expression in HeLa cells, but Cox was not headed for tenure, so Gollnick ended up working for Jack Horowitz. In Horowitz's lab Gollnick worked on nucleic acids and tRNA. Though he was frustrated at having to use the old-fashioned nuclear magnetic resonance technique because Horowitz had declared, "No recombinant DNA in my centrifuge," Gollnick says that, "in retrospect it was fine." While at Iowa State Gollnick met and married Sandra Oppel, a classmate. Together they went to Stanford, where for four years, Gollnick did postdoc work in Charles Yanofsky's lab and Sandra worked for DNAX. Gollnick's research was going nowhere, so when she left the lab, Mitzi Yukoda gave Gollnick her work on subcloning and sequencing mtrb. With Yanofsky's permission and with TRAP (trp RNA-attenuation protein) in hand, Gollnick applied for faculty positions. He accepted an assistant professorship at SUNY Buffalo, and his wife was able to find a job at Roswell Park Cancer Center. Gollnick continues his study of TRAP in B. subtilis and his collaborative work with Robert S. Phillips on tryptophanase. He has since become an associate professor and received tenure. Gollnick teaches a great deal and likes it very much. He also continues to publish and to work occasionally at the bench.
Daniel P. Raleigh grew up in Arcata, California, the youngest of four children. His father was a professor at Humboldt State University, his mother a homemaker who had also been a teacher. In addition, all three siblings went into education. Raleigh spent much of his free time outdoors, even for reading. He attended Humboldt State University's laboratory elementary school and then junior high and high school in Arcata, California, public schools, remembering his education as being rather uninspiring, except for mathematics. His extracurricular activities focused on the outdoors: hiking, camping, and the like. He attended Humboldt State, interested in both mathematics and science at first, but an excellent chemistry faculty member inspired him to pursue chemistry. He loved math too and could have majored in it, but he felt he lacked the "spark" to be an original mathematician. Raleigh decided to do graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; there he joined Robert G. Griffin's laboratory, feeling that Humboldt's strong chemistry faculty had prepared him well for graduate studies. While working in Griffin's lab Raleigh developed new theoretical and technical methods and became interested in applying his methodologies to biological problems. For that reason he chose Christopher Dobson's lab at University of Oxford for postdoctoral work in biochemistry. While he was there he met his future wife, Clare P. Grey. Partly from frustration with the relative lack of resources at British universities Raleigh and Grey decided to seek positions in the United States. A postdoc at DuPont Merck Company convinced Raleigh that he did not want to be in a corporate research environment. Like most two-career couples, Raleigh and Grey found that obtaining positions together was challenging; they accepted positions at the State University New York, Stony Brook. He immediately undertook establishing his lab, developing his own form of lab management and mentoring, while at the same time taking on administrative tasks. He purposely chose to avoid corporate funding sources, preferring the freedom offered under traditional funding in the United States. Given the nature of Stony Brook's academic environment, when Raleigh was not writing journal articles or teaching he developed seminar courses for undergraduates, discussing at length the differences between teaching undergraduate and graduate students. He is interested in the history of science, as he feels it is important to place scientific findings in a broader context. Although an academic career afforded a great degree of flexibility, balancing personal life and career has been a challenge for Raleigh. When not working, he committed himself to some environmental causes, though he admitted that he loves his work so much that he feels no sacrifice at having so little free time. His current research centers on conformational changes in proteins, and he talks a little about the practical aspects of his work. He answers the interviewers questions about patents; serendipity in science; the roles of competition and collaboration in science; ethics in science; the importance of overseeing students' work to ensure accuracy and integrity; and the problems inherent in regulating science. The interview ends with a proclamation of Raleigh's professional satisfaction; a discussion of his personal goals; and reflections on his career choices.
Yasushi Hiromi was born in Kaizuka City, in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, the elder of two sons. His father was a biochemist and his mother a housewife. When Yasushi was about ten his father took a postdoc at Yale University, and the family lived in New Haven, Connecticut, for a year. There the two boys learned to speak idiomatic English. As a youngster Yasushi was fascinated by figuring out how things work. He was always good in mathematics and liked physics and chemistry. This desire to understand things is what drew him to science. When he entered the University of Tokyo his declared major was physics, but in his last year he did a rotation in Drosophila genetics in Yoshiki Hotta's lab, and he decided to become a biologist. In Japan it is usual to stay in the same lab for graduate school, and Yasushi liked Drosophila genetics, so he stayed in Hotta's lab. There he worked on phosphorylation and eclosion, and he found the heat shock response at room temperature. While in that lab he met Walter Gehring, in whose lab in Switzerland he took a postdoc. There he discovered the ftz (fushi tarazu) gene (fushi tarazu means "not enough segments"). This led to his career interest, the developing central nervous system. He accepted a second postdoc in Corey Goodman's lab at Stanford and then UC Berkeley, where he worked with Chris Doe on the seven-up gene, which he took with him when he joined the faculty at Princeton University. He wanted to learn about the relationship between ligand and receptor and how that relationship influenced the function of a gene. Each round of experiments required three or four months. He did this for five years, never obtaining the dispositive result for which he hoped. He did, however, get publications in very good journals. Although he is going back to Japan, to the National Institute of Genetics, he says he still prefers to do risky science. Hiromi still works at the bench. He likes a small lab because he then does have time to work at bench, rather than overseeing lab members. He looks forward to the challenge of a different system of doing science in Japan, where there is less emphasis on grant-writing, and he can exploit the joy he feels in solving problems. He will take the seven-up gene and a postdoc back with him; this person will have the position of joshu. Hiromi makes a point of having dinner and spending the early evenings and some weekend time at home with his wife and children. Balancing this time away from the lab with this family time means often working in the middle of the night, but he believes it is important to be with his family as much as he can.
Erin M. Schuman was born in San Gabriel, California, though spent most of her childhood in Huntington Beach, the oldest of three siblings; her mother was a teacher at a Catholic school. She was a "serial hobbyist" with interests in painting, softball, dancing, and reading and she attended Catholic schools from the time she was a teenager. Schuman matriculated at the University of Southern California (USC), initially interested in pursuing law and deciding to major in political science, but ultimately switching her major to psychology. She worked regularly as an undergraduate, including stints as a waitress, though found the time to complete an honors thesis with Laura Baker studying memory in twins. She decided to go to graduate school for her doctoral studies, having to choose between the University of California, Irvine and Princeton University, ultimately selecting the latter because of Joseph Farley's work on learning in memory using invertebrate systems. She followed Farley to Indiana University when he left, though returned to Princeton to complete her thesis in Gregory A. Clark's lab. She then accepted a postdoctoral position at the Daniel V. Madison laboratory at Stanford University studying long-term neuronal potentiation, culminating in a series of papers on synaptic transmission (two of which appeared in Science). From there Schuman accepted a position at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), studying decentralized production of proteins at the dendrites and, more recently, synaptic feedback mechanisms and cadherins, and having the opportunity to collaborate with Masatoshi Takeichi and Norman A. Davidson. The interview concludes with Schuman discussing the advantages and disadvantages of competition in science; the issue of accountability to those who fund scientific research; sexism; the article-writing process; co-teaching courses with her husband, Gilles Jean Laurent; and balancing family and career.
Dean H. Kedes' oral history begins with a discussion of his childhood and family life. Heavily influenced by his father, also a biomedical scientist, Kedes developed an interest in science early in life. He would visit his father's laboratory at Stanford University often and he became aware of its friendly and productive atmosphere. During his youth, he traveled abroad with his family in support of his father's research. Time spent in Italy and England, while also traveling to other parts of Europe, proved enriching. Kedes applied to college while in Europe and he subsequently chose to attend Stanford University. Upon matriculation, though, the ‘living on campus' experience made it seem as if he had gone to school farther away from home than was actually true. Starting from enrollment, Kedes pursued a major in biology with the intention of applying to medical school. His coursework and laboratory research in the neurobiology laboratory of Eric Shooter, however, increased his interest in pursuing basic science as well. Kedes decided to undertake a joint MD/PhD program at Yale University. After an uninspiring first laboratory rotation working on a descriptive Drosophila project, Kedes eventually joined the laboratory of Joan A. Steitz to study pre-mRNA splicing. Upon earning his MD/PhD, Kedes returned to Stanford University to undertake his clinical residency, though he experienced difficulty transitioning between laboratory research and clinical medicine. After completing his residency, Kedes built upon his laboratory research with post-doctoral studies in Donald Ganem's laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. There Kedes developed his interests in the molecular biology of infectious diseases including Hepatitis B and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus (KSHV). Following his successful work with Ganem, Kedes was offered a position at the University of Virginia—a location at which both he and his wife could find work—and began the “thrill and excitement” of running his own laboratory. Throughout the interview Kedes emphasized the importance of balancing family life with laboratory work and creating a positive atmosphere within the laboratory, something that he works hard to maintain at the University of Virginia. Shortly after becoming a principal investigator, Kedes was awarded a Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award and he reflected upon the importance of the award with respect to scientific funding and collaboration. Kedes also discussed funding in the United States more broadly, especially the problem of the attrition of science students due to a lack of funds as well as the national push towards translational research. The interview concluded with Kedes' reflections on the field of biomedical science, on scientific publishing, and on the public perception of science.
Stephen Buratowski, the oldest of four boys, grew up in Iselin, New Jersey. Stephen's father was working as a programmer for a subsidiary of International Business Machines when he met Stephen's mother, who was doing data entry there. His father is an only child, but his mother is one of nine children, and the whole family is still close. In addition, his parents were devout Roman Catholics and brought their boys up in the church. Buratowski and his brothers played a lot of informal sports, went exploring in the "woods", etc. Stephen always liked to read a lot, especially science stories and mysteries (Jules Verne and Encyclopedia Brown), and knew from at least third grade that he wanted to be a scientist. When he visited relatives he loved to play their organ, so his parents bought him one, and he began his musical career. He and friends had a band throughout high school, and in college Buratowski continued with another group of friends. Although he thought his public schools were fairly good, Buratowski did well without having to work much. His parents had not gone to college, and his school's guidance counselors were weak, so Stephen had little help with the idea of college. He followed his friends' lead in trying to score well on Scholastic Aptitude Tests and in applying to colleges. When he met a Princeton University recruiter, Buratowski decided Princeton University was his first choice. He was accepted there, and the financial aid enabled him to enter what he calls paradise. In his junior year he met guest lecturer George Khoury, who read Buratowski's thesis on enhancers. Encouraged, Stephen asked to go into Khoury's lab at the National Cancer Institute during the summer after his graduation. There he did recombinant DNA for the first time. For graduate school Buratowski applied to many schools; everywhere he visited he was told that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was the best, so he decided to go there. Also, Phillip Sharp was there and was doing gene expression, the kind of work in which Buratowski was interested. He spent the first year in classes, and in April he entered Sharp's lab. There he worked with Steven Hahn on TFIID, from which research they published their first paper in Nature and a second in Cell. He got a "spectacular" PhD thesis from his work; this allowed him to skip the usual postdoc and go across the street to the Fellows Program at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. At about this time Buratowski married Robin Marlor, another MIT scientist, who found a postdoc at the Whitehead Institute. At the end of his fellowship he accepted an assistant professorship at Harvard University and continues to progress toward professorship and tenure. Buratowski teaches in the medical school; he serves on many committees, of which his favorite is the research computing department committee; he manages his lab of about ten people; he writes grant proposals; and he attempts to balance his work life with his life with wife and daughter, with whom he has resumed church attendance.
Lester F. Lau, the youngest of three children, lived in Hong Kong until he was fourteen. Lau's parents were strict, Lau was—he says—introverted, and Chinese schools stressed conformity over creativity, so when the family moved to Brooklyn Lau was able to do so well in science and mathematics that he skipped a grade. This led to difficulty in high school, as his understanding of English did not keep pace. He actually ended up seventh in his class of over 1,000, however, which was more than good enough to qualify him for City College of New York. He decided to go there in great part because it was free, but another consideration was that he had been accepted into their honors program and given a scholarship. He originally thought he might be a history major, but an organic chemistry class changed his mind. He found science to be like a puzzle or a detective story; and he was excited by the enormous addition to knowledge that science had provided. Lau began graduate school at Purdue University, studying X-ray crystallography, but he switched to molecular biology at Cornell University, entering Ray Wu's lab. He describes working with Jeffrey Roberts, manipulating synthetic DNA to study transcription and termination. Here he discusses the shift from his interest in procaryotic systems to eucaryotic systems; continuity and discontinuity in his career; and his independent research style. From there he went to Gerald Fink's lab to study yeast genetics, and he created a double-mutation yeast strain. He decided to do a postdoc in molecular biology in Daniel Nathans's lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and he received a Helen Hays Whitney Fellowship. Here Lau talks about the genesis and impact of Nathans's work on simian virus 40; the value of interacting with other fellows; and applying a molecular approach to studying cell cycle regulation. He continues with a discussion of the difficulties involved in differential hybridization; differential screening in other labs; encountering skepticism in the field; prior work on how genes activate cells; the usefulness of simple lab techniques; the reaction to Lau's findings; and the politics of scientific publishing. Lau gives his opinion about whether outsiders can still make contributions to science, grant review sections, and the status of women and minorities in science. He talks more about the reception given his papers and publication timing and the job market. He goes into his reasons for leaving Nathans's lab. At this point in his career, Lau began to hunt for a job. One criterion was his preference for big cities, so he accepted a position at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and set up his new lab. His next peroration encompasses the role of basic research in a medical school, to wit the teaching duties of research biologists versus doing research. Lau's next move was to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, where he is now an associate professor. He discusses sequencing cDNAs; trying to determine gene functions; and his competitors. He explains how different stimuli can activate immediate-early genes; the complex process of cell cycle regulation; the need to look beyond the tissue culture model to the organism; and how he learned to make transgenic mice. He concludes by talking about his National Institutes of Health grant reviews and his plans to explore a genetics approach to isolating immediate-early genes.
Ann Marie Craig was born in Ithaca, New York, the second of three children. Her father was a graduate student in business administration at Cornell University, and her mother was a nurse. Both parents came from small towns in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, so when Ann Marie was about three years old the family moved back to Canada, where her father became a professor of business administration at Ottawa University. Ann Marie remembers liking school, particularly her third-grade teacher and a high school science teacher, but she does not claim a from-birth interest in science; that came later, after a flirtation with becoming a teacher or a nun. By the time she entered Queens College as a double major in mathematics and physics, she did know she loved the beauty of internal logic and consistency, which she found most in science. After her first year at Queens she realized that she was in the wrong field, so she began classes in psychology, interested in discovering how the brain works. Next she entered Carleton University with a major in biological psychology, which she soon switched to biochemistry. She spent two of her college summers working for the National Research Council of Canada and one purifying proteins at the University of Western Canada in Ontario. From those summers she gleaned three publications. Her work was mostly molecular neurobiology, cloning DNA, leading her into cancer research. At the time the Canadian university system did not have rotations; students were expected to find themselves a lab. Ann Marie chose David Denhardt's lab at the University of Western Ontario because she wanted to learn DNA cloning and molecular biology and transvection of mammal cells. She did her PhD research on molecular biology of cancer progression and the 2ar/osteopontin protein. After what Craig considers an unusually smooth graduate training, she revived her interest in the molecular basis of learning and memory and accepted a postdoc in Daniel Alkon's lab at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. Disappointed in the progress of her research, she left Alkon's lab for a postdoc at Gary Banker's lab at the University of Virginia, changing also her research model organism, working on neuronal polarity and the clustering and trafficking of receptors in neurons. Ann Marie began learning molecular biology as an important technique in neuroscience, but recognizing that electrophysiology was key, Craig almost decided to do a third postdoc to learn electrophysiology; instead she decided to accept a position at the University of Illinois and to set up her own lab. Again her interest shifted, this time to synapses, and Washington University in St. Louis offered more scope for pursuing that research, so she accepted an associate professorship there. Her research interests continue to include the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation and synaptic plasticity, their regulation and functional importance; she hopes in the future to initiate research on central neuron synapse assembly, modulation, and electrophysiology.
Rory M. Marks was born in Sydney, Australia, the elder of two brothers. His parents had met in the Royal Australian Air Force, during World War II; there his father was an aircraft engineer and his mother a radio operator, but the senior Marks went into the fish business when he left the service. The family lived near the Sydney harbor, and the boys spent as much time as possible at the beach. Rory and his brother attended a rigorous Anglican school where grades were extremely important. Rory was always interested in how things work, in the elegance of mathematical explanations and the creativity of science. He thought that differential calculus was the most beautiful thing. He also liked to take things apart (and he still does). He took apart the garbage disposal to see how it worked; soon there was garbage all around the foundations of the house, as he had not put the disposal back together correctly. It was customary to attend college where one lived, so Rory went to the University of New South Wales and lived at home. Unaware that science did not have to mean medicine, he entered the medical school. Classes were large lecture classes, often on video. After his third year he did an optional year of research, working with T-cell immunity to salmonella in rats; he liked his mentors and the other students. He liked the clinical work and liked his boss, Ronald Penny, who was a very good clinician. During Christmas break he went to England, to Ian Clark's lab, then back to med school with Penny; after three or four years in the same lab he chose vascular biology for his field and wanted to go overseas. He went to Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, to Judah Folkman's lab and learned to grow blood vessel wall cells; then it was back to Australia. Next, he went to Griffith, Australia, a rural area, for his internship, then, no longer satisfied with his work in Penny's lab, he worked with Michael Berndt at a different hospital. Rory decided that science was best done in the United States, so he took a scholarship to the University of Michigan, working in Peter Ward's lab on oxygen-deprived free radicals in vascular tissue damage. He attended a summer class in molecular biology at Smith College, where he was impressed by a talk given by Vishva Dixit, with whom he now works closely. He grew cells for Dixit, working on complement system. He met Faye Silverstein, who is now his wife. For that reason and because science is better in the United States, he did not want to return to Australia. He is still at the University of Michigan, where he had a breakthrough in his vascular complement fixation (VCF) work after nine years. He continues his interest in tropical diseases and their vascular implications. His wife is also a physician-scientist, a pediatric neurologist, and they are working together on a project concerning angiogenesis.
Edwin L. Ferguson was born and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was an only child and thinks that, therefore, he was more independent and self-reliant than other children in his neighborhood. His neighborhood was filled with large Roman Catholic families, whose children attended the local Catholic school. As Ferguson says, the Catholic school was the public school. Ferguson attended also for a couple of years, but the school was severely overcrowded and the education poor, so his parents transferred him to an Episcopal school, where he soon became an excellent student. When he was in high school his father became seriously ill, apparently with Alzheimer's disease, so Ferguson had to assume adult responsibilities. He decided he wanted to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study computer science. His interest in computer science began to wane, but an introductory course in biology grabbed his interest, and a course in genetics taught by David Botstein caused him to major in biology as well as computer science. After graduation Ferguson spent a year and a half working in computer programming, but he found it increasingly boring. He decided to take an ocean ecology course in a joint program at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and MIT, and from there he entered MIT again, this time as a graduate student in biology. He went into H. Robert Horvitz's lab to work on genetics in C. elegans. From there he went to Columbia University with a postdoc in Martin Chalfie's lab, where he did "a little bit of molecular biology." From there he went to University of California at Berkeley, changing fields from C. elegans to Drosophila. He worked in Kathryn Anderson's lab, studying dorsal-ventral patterning in Drosophila; this had been Anderson's area of study when she was a postdoc in Christiane Nusslein-Volhard's lab at the University of Tubingen, and the work excited Ferguson very much. Also, he was done with worms and wanted to switch to flies. After about five years at Berkeley, he finished some work with which he was heavily involved and applied for jobs at many schools. He had a number of offers, mostly from medical schools, but settled on the assistant professorship at the University of Chicago. He is now an associate professor there, and he continues to work in developmental genetics, winning a number of awards and publishing many articles.
Lee Ann Niswander was born in Bluffton, Ohio, the fourth child of six. Her parents were moderately devout Mennonites until her father's job caused them to move to Okemos, Michigan, where they became Methodists. Both parents were musical and they taught their children to be musical as well (the family won an award in a national musical contest). Lee Ann loved school, especially mathematics and science, in both of which she did well. When she was in high school she worked with disabled people, and she began Western Michigan University intending to major in special education. Finding that boring she moved to Colorado, where she worked on dude ranches for a few years before matriculating at the University of Colorado. She wanted to take her degree in chemistry, but she discovered that she enjoyed her biology classes as well. Still not sure that she wanted to go to medical school, but not knowing what else she could do, she finished college and applied to the Peace Corps. Although she was accepted and assigned to Lesotho, she decided not to go. Instead she worked as a technician at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for four years before deciding to go back to school. During these four years she also obtained a Master's degree and met her future husband, Richard Davis. When Davis decided to accept a postdoc at Case Western Reserve University, Lee Ann applied to and was accepted into a PhD program in developmental biology at Case Western. There she worked in two Drosophila labs, one with Anthony Mahowald; then she went to Terry Magnuson's lab to work on mouse genetics. She also spent three months in Sweden, learning microdissection and microcloning; she was working on a phenotype that arises from a deletion of a part of mouse chromosome 7 and that has an early embryonic phenotype during gastrulation. When she finished her PhD she and Davis married and went to the University of California at San Francisco, where Lee Ann had a postdoc in Gail Martin's lab. There her project involved FGF-4. From California Niswander and her husband moved to New York City, where she accepted an assistant member position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In addition to the Pew grant she has also won a Howard Hughes Medical Institute award and has been promoted to associate member at Sloan-Kettering. As a PI, she has three major projects in her lab: limb development in the chick embryo; neural tube patterning, or why there are different types of neurons along the dorsal-ventral axis in the neural tube; and feather bud development. She also is co-director and a teacher of a developmental biology course the cell biology course at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. In summers she co-teaches a section of a course in embryology with John Saunders at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Lee Ann continues to publish, to teach, to experiment, to seek funding, and to attempt to balance all this with her family life.
James A. Goodrich grew up in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, the oldest of five children. His father owned his own business; his mother was a homemaker. Both parents finished high school but did not go to college, so Goodrich felt no expectations for college himself. From about fifth grade, when he had a genuine science teacher, he gravitated toward science. His junior high school was pod-style, and he lost interest as a result until the reversion to regular classroom style. His sophomore chemistry teacher inspired Goodrich's love of chemistry and established his firm desire to be a scientist. Unusually for such a small town, his high school had excellent science and mathematics classes, including his junior-year organic chemistry class. Not realizing what other options science majors had, Goodrich decided to become a doctor. As a result he applied only to the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university nearby that had a very good reputation for placing its graduates in medical schools. He majored in biochemistry. He also had to work throughout. He did his doctoral work in Carnegie Mellon's biology department. There he worked on transcription in William McClure's lab. Goodrich here discusses his doctoral research in the McClure molecular biology laboratory; the running of the McClure laboratory; bioinformatics on transcription regulation; his marriage; and the birth of his first daughter. Next Goodrich accepted a postdoc in Robert Tjian's molecular genetics laboratory at University of California, Berkeley; there his research focused on human transcription. Here he compares McClure's mentoring style with Tjian's; he talks about living in and at Berkeley; and he explains the process of writing journal articles in the Tjian lab. Meanwhile, his wife became a lab technician in Tjian's lab. After about four years as a postdoc Goodrich accepted a position at University of Colorado, Boulder. He discusses setting up his lab and its makeup; the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant on his work; and his teaching responsibilities. He talks about his current research studying the molecular mechanisms of mammalian transcription; about the University of Colorado, Boulder's facilities; about competition and collaboration in science; tenure; and his administrative duties. During a recent sabbatical, he spent half of his time writing a training grant; the second half he spent in the lab. He describes the fun he had being at the bench again. He goes on to give his opinions on such issues as the small numbers of minorities in science; decreasing percentage of women in science as they progress from students to faculty members; science education in the schools; patents; funding; and publishing. He talks a little more about his current research in molecular biophysics on regulation of transcription and the practical applications of his research, and about his professional goals. He concludes by explaining how he tries to balance his work life with his life at home with his wife and two daughters.
Frank J. Rauscher, III, one of five children, grew up mostly in suburbs of Washington, D. C. His father was a cancer researcher with the National Institutes of Health at first, eventually becoming director of the National Cancer Institute; his mother was a teacher and homemaker. Because of his father's important scientific career, he was often fully aware of politics and science, even shaking President Nixon's hand at the signing of the National Cancer Act. Rauscher attributed his early interest in biology to being immersed in the field because of his father's career. He was a young teen at the time of the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. , both of which amplified, to him, the fact that he lived in a city at the center of internationally important decisions. Rauscher attended Moravian College in Pennsylvania. He was familiar with the college because his father had gone there. It was only in his junior year that he decided to major in biology. The removal of a large tumor from his chest helped change his mind about becoming a doctor, and an exceptional teacher's help in mathematics helped make a science career possible. During one mid-year break, Rauscher gained research experience in Sol Spiegelman's lab at Columbia University. During his other school breaks he worked in a chemotherapy clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital. These two different aspects of treating cancer solidified Rauscher's career choice; he made his final decision to be a scientist, and he devoted his remaining college time to science courses. Feeling that experience would stand him in good stead when he applied to graduate school, Rauscher entered Edwin Cadman's lab as a technician, where he did research on biochemical synergy as a means of killing tumors. While in Cadman's lab, Rauscher decided to go into pharmacology and began to prepare to enter a graduate program. The burgeoning field of molecular biology and oncogene research ensnared his interest, so he entered graduate school at State University of New York at Buffalo. He went into Terry Beerman's lab to study the interaction of drugs and chromatin. Then came the breakthroughs in oncogene research in the 1980s. Rauscher applied for a postdoc position in the Tom Curran lab at Roche Institute of Molecular Biology and switched from pharmacology to molecular biology. Research in the lab focused on the fosoncogene. Collaboration with Bruce Spiegelman and B. Robert Franza Jr. established a DNA-binding site for fos. The discovery that jun and fos form a dimeric complex and the discovery of leucine zippers in fos and jun spurred new work on transcription. Rauscher described the attempt to inhibit oncogenic cell growth, using transdominant mutant dimerizing proteins. Curran provided practical career advice for Rauscher, advice that helped him define a research focus for his own lab. He set up his lab as an assistant professor at the Wistar Institute. At the end of the interview Rauscher discusses the necessity of bringing in grant money and his strategy for designing grant applications; how seeking grants fosters "tactical science"; how he identified the Wilms' tumor gene DNA-binding site; the competitiveness of experimental science; the pressures on a two-career couple; and how he attempts to design a project that is both "hypothesis driven" and capable of producing solid results. He describes how he used technology from his research on WT1 to study zinc finger proteins and how his research on Krüppel-associated box and KRAB-associated protein was funded by the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. Rauscher concludes his interview with his explanation of the necessity for a researcher to pursue new ideas and new fields of research and with renewed emphasis on the importance of continuing basic cancer research.
Nancy M. Hollingsworth was born in San Francisco, California, but spent most of her youth moving around—to Oregon, Panama, New Mexico, California, and, finally, Arizona—with her parents and older brother. Her father was a psychiatrist (and the reason for the travel); her mother was a trained dietitian who chose not to work while her children were growing up. Hollingsworth enjoyed school from a young age, a precocious child who loved reading, schoolwork (she would also play "school" when at home), playing cards with her family, nature, and music. In high school she had a great interest in literature, mathematics, and history, though did think about pursuing zoology as a major in college. Hollingsworth matriculated at Oregon State University and felt fortunate to have Peter Dawson as her advisor and mentor—Dawson was a population geneticist who worked on the flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum and Tribolium confusum, and who also taught the undergraduate genetics class. Though maintaining an interest in history and literature, Hollingsworth began working in Dawson's lab very early on in her undergraduate career, doing crosses and measuring map distances between some genes in Tribolium. She completed her degree in zoology, moving on to a master's degree at Oregon State. She participated in a summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, working under the tutelage of Lynna Hereford and Mary Anne Osley and solidifying her decision to attend the University of Washington for doctoral studies (instead of one of the three Ivy league schools that accepted her). At the University of Washington, Hollingsworth chose to work in the lab of Breck E. Byers, studying meiosis in yeast, ultimately developing a mutant screen for yeast recombination proteins and subsequently identifying the HOP1 mutant; she also had the opportunity to meet Leland H. Hartwell, with whom she also worked. From there she moved on to postdoctoral research in Gerald R. Smith's laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, studying Schizosaccharomyces pombe recombination, at which point she also met her future husband, Aaron Neiman. She transferred to the University of California, San Francisco to work with Alexander D. Johnson on Hop1 biochemistry and HOP1 alleles. She then accepted a position at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and began her research on the recombinant promoter gene MSH5 in yeast and on the roles of the Mms4/Mus81 complex and of Mek1 in recombination. The remainder of the interview focuses on the topics of Hollingworth's lab, her mentoring style, and her thoughts on contemporary issues in science and its practice. She talks about the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences on her work; her teaching duties; how she chooses her research projects; and how she balances family (she has three children) and career. The interview ends with her thoughts on collaboration and competition in research; the national scientific agenda the role of scientists in informing the public and determining public policy; gender issues; and more on the influence of Lynna Hereford and Mary Ann Osley on her career.
Miguel C. Seabra grew up in Lisbon, Portugal, one of three sons; his father was an ophthalmologist and his mother a kindergarten teacher. Seabra liked school and did well when school was in session. Political upheaval in Lisbon caused chaos in his school in his fifth-grade year, and Seabra's uncle, who had been a minister in a previous administration, was arrested. His academic interests in high school were in science and mathematics. Seabra's parents had expectations for their children and their careers, and his father had a great influence on his decision to enter medical school. While at medical school he worked under Fernanda Mesquita and had an internship in Turin, Italy. During his travels under the aegis of the Children's International Summer Villages he met the woman who became his wife, Isabel Fernandes Pinto. Soon after, he made the decision to seek a PhD outside of Portugal and was accepted into the doctoral program at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. His family was resistant to his moving to the United States; he had trouble, at first, with lectures in English; and he and his wife suffered quite a bit of culture shock and homesickness for a little while. Seabra was directed by Scott Grundy to Joseph Goldstein's lab, where he continued his research on cell cholesterol metabolism with Michael Briggs and Yuval Reiss and helped purify the geranylgeranyltransferase enzyme, though he chose not to write his PhD thesis on geranylgeranylation; during his graduate work Seabra published a paper on Rab escort proteins in Cell. Ultimately he transitioned to a postdoc and principal investigator position at University of Texas Southwestern, working hard to overcome challenges when setting up his own lab. After spending some time in his faculty position, Seabra decided to pursue his science abroad, moving to the Imperial College School of Medicine in London, England, for reasons that included funding growth in England, especially by the Wellcome Foundation; his wife's profession; and the language and culture. Core to his growth and development in the United States, however, was his receipt of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award, a topic that he talked about at length in the interview. The interview concluded with Seabra's discussion of a typical workday, a workday that has made balancing family and career a challenge. He has had little time for working at the bench, much less for leisure activities. Experiencing firsthand the extreme competitiveness that exists in the global scientific community affected his beliefs and practices about science. The interview ends with Seabra's opinions about ethics in science; the inevitability of scientific progress; and the impact of fashionable trends on the publication of scientific articles. He compares scientific collaboration in the United States and England, and explains his current research on prenylation of Rab proteins and possible applications of his research. He talks about the support he has received to cure choroideremia, and finishes with an elaboration of his personal and professional goals, an assessment of his achievements, and final thoughts on foregoing a possible Howard Hughes Medical Institute award.
Douglas R. Kellogg grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, the second oldest of four children. He had an early interest in reading, and took classes with several influential teachers. Kellogg first chose the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate studies, but after a summer job in Alaska, he transferred to University of Wisconsin, Madison. He always had an interest in and affinity for biology; between undergraduate and graduate school, Kellogg worked as a lab technician on Drosophila genetics, influencing the path of his future research interests and studies. There was no doubt in his mind that he would become a biologist. Kellogg chose to attend the University of California, San Francisco to pursue his graduate degree, working in Bruce M. Alberts's laboratory studying pattern formation in Drosophila embryo cytoskeleton. After completing his doctoral degree, he decided to stay in San Francisco for a postdoctoral position with Andrew W. Murray and researched the role of mitotic cyclin in coordination of cell growth and cell division. After his postdoc, Kellogg took a position at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where his research has focused on cell-signaling biochemistry in the coordination, division, and regulation of cell growth. In the interview, he spoke at length about the makeup of his lab and how he manages and teaches in the lab. Kellogg also reflects upon the role of technology, critical inquiry, competition, collaboration and creativity in his research and in his science in general. The interview concludes with a discussion of the role of the scientist in educating the public about science, and how this factors in to setting his own and the national scientific agenda; he also offers advice for beginning scientists, and reflects on his favorite scientific papers.