Ann M. Pullen was born in Eastbourne, a small town on the south coast of England, though was raised in Sutton Coldfield just outside of Birmingham, the elder of two sisters. Both of her parents were university-educated teachers who lived through World War II-era England (her father serving a stint in the military while in college): her father taught history and English, her mother English and music. Pullen was interested in science and nature from a young age, exploring the outdoors with her family on regular nature walks, keeping a "Wood Book"—a diary/log of what she discovered when out exploring—and using a microscope to dissect flies and other insects. She was always competitive in school, looking to perform the best on all of her exams and studying intently for her classes, and she had the opportunity to attend a new science-emphasized school (situated next to a pig farm) in her community while still young. By the time she was in her teens, Pullen self-selected to pursue a career in science, focusing her coursework on such a goal and attending what she felt was a more intensive pre-college school. Throughout her pre-college years, and in some cases well into them, Pullen played netball, threw the javelin on her track and field team, and also played piano. Several influential, female teachers helped guide her into a scientific career and into an appropriate university. Pullen attended the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, in part because of the university's emphasis on applied scientific training, providing students with real-world experience. While at Bath she worked for six months in a state-run agricultural lab that was a part of the University of Bristol's Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, another six months at the Technical Research Centre of Finland in Helsinki, Finland, which was a brewing laboratory, and time in a lab with Michael J. Danson at Bath working on citrate synthase; her experiences led her to pursue a doctoral degree in science instead of a medical degree. She matriculated at Cambridge University in order to study immunology with Alan J. Munro, researching Peyer's patch T cell hybridomas. Though Pullen found that Cambridge's intellectual environment was rich and quite useful to a budding scientist, the limited funding and availability of resources proved somewhat frustrating. In order to continue her career and expand it beyond the confines of the British scientific community, Pullen then went on to a postdoctoral fellowship in the John W. Kappler-Philippa C. Marrack lab at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Colorado. In the Kappler-Marrack lab she focused her work on T cells, quickly discovering superantigens (antigens that were extremely potent at triggering cells) and publishing her results in Nature. From there she moved on to an assistant professorship at University of Washington, starting her lab with funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health. At Washington she collaborated with Michael Patrick Stuart on Mycoplasma fermentans and also began using transgenic mice to study extrathymic T cell development. At the end of the interview Pullen discusses various aspects of being a principal investigator, as well as what it is like to live the life of a scientist. She talks about dealing with administrative paperwork; the multidisciplinary focus of the Pew annual meetings; competition with other labs; the impact of research funding cuts on the University of Washington School of Medicine; problems with the tenure system; and her belief in preventive public health programs. The interview concludes with her thoughts on her participation in the Association for Women in Science and in a University of Washington biomedical faculty women's group; problems facing women faculty who decide to have children while pursuing tenure; delivering one of the university's Science in Medicine talks; balancing family life with her career; regulation of experimental animal use; animal rights activism and research; studying human T cell repertoire in patients with necrotizing fasciitis; and modeling her lab on the Kappler-Marrack lab.
Tatsuya Hirano was born and raised in Chiba, Japan—a fishing village and an agricultural suburb of Tokyo—the youngest of three siblings. Hirano's father was a civil servant who educated local farmers about methods in agricultural production, obtaining his doctoral degree later in life and, after retiring from civil service, becoming faculty at the University of Tokyo; his mother was a housewife. Hirano's childhood, according to him, was rather typical; he had an early interest in the arts (he liked drawing and carpentry). He excelled in school and decided to pursue a college education in science. He entered Kyoto University intending to study physics, but interest in contemporary advances in molecular biology pulled him much more in that direction. He was unaffected by his professors during college, as, according to Hirano, undergraduate education in Japan was much more self-directed than instructor-led. In this spirit, graduate students, unlike in the United States, usually stayed at the same university for their graduate degree as their undergraduate and only applied to a specific lab in which to work for graduate study (unlike the rotation system in the United States); Hirano remained at Kyoto University and worked in Mitsuhiro Yanagida's laboratory on the genetics of chromosome structure in fission yeast. Since there were no postdoctoral positions available in Japan, and even fewer faculty positions, Hirano decided, like many of his fellow graduate students, to undertake a postdoctoral fellowship abroad. Wanting to broaden his experience in his field, Hirano decided that he wanted to work in the United States and chose to study with Timothy J. Mitchison—someone Hirano considered one of the brightest cell biologists of his age—at the University of California, San Francisco. Hirano worked on chromosome condensation and the condensin complex in Mitchison's lab, all the while adjusting to American life and culture. From there, he accepted a position at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where he continued his research on condensin and cohesion. During the interview, Hirano talks about his wife's role in his lab (she worked as a technician in several Japanese and American labs before joining his own), and balancing his career with his family life. In addition, he regularly compares the American and Japanese scientific systems, talking about the "brain-drain" issue and its impact on Japanese science. As the interview concludes, Hirano discusses the impact of cultural diversity on science; his mentoring style and its relationship to the mentoring he received; the privatization of science; and the role of the scientist in public policy. At the end of the interview, he speaks more about how he met his wife and about her career; the future direction of chromosome dynamics; and being an award recipient of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.
Thomas F. Schilling was born in Richmond, Virginia, the oldest of four children. His father was a forester turned Presbyterian minister, his mother a housewife. When Schilling was about five his family lived in New Haven, Connecticut, for two years while his father attended Yale Divinity School. While there, Schilling spent many days at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, giving latecomers tours of dinosaurs. In addition to dinosaurs, he loved reptiles and amphibians, but especially snakes. After Yale, the family moved to North Carolina, where they stayed until Schilling was in junior high school, at which time they moved to a small town in West Virginia. Schilling did not find his education compelling and did not apply himself until he entered college. Because his parents wanted him to have a solid liberal arts foundation and thought a small college the best place to get it, Schilling matriculated into Presbyterian-affiliated Davidson College, majoring in biology. Halfway through he changed his career plan from medicine to academics. He developed an interest in the philosophy and sociology of science; undertook hospital work for class credit; and spent summers working and playing at Yellowstone National Park. Schilling found that a class in physiological psychology led to an interest in neuroscience and so he applied to neuroscience graduate programs. Despite the lack of research lab experience at Davidson, Schilling gained acceptance into the PhD program in the University of Michigan biology department. Unpleasant faculty in the department and low morale caused the exit of nearly everyone in his entering class. Ultimately he joined the laboratory of R. Glenn Northcutt to study the neuroanatomy of the visual system. Northcutt left for the University of California, San Diego, and Schilling found a new interest in zebrafish. A chance discussion with Russell Fernald at a meeting led Schilling to apply to the PhD program at the University of Oregon and take a master's degree at Michigan. At that time, only two labs were working with zebrafish, Monte Westerfield's and Charles Kimmel's. Schilling chose Kimmel's lab because he wanted to work on neural crest, and neural crest lineages in zebrafish became his dissertation topic. Schilling accepted a postdoc at Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, England, where he entered Philip Ingham's lab to study Drosophila and to help set up a zebrafish lab. Soon after his arrival in London, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard called Schilling and asked him to work at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany, on craniofacial anomalies in zebrafish. After some time in Germany, he returned to London, where he spent several years in Ingham's lab. Schilling rediscovered his interest in neural crest, but he also discovered a mutation in the enzyme that synthesizes retinoic acid (RA), and RA became the second major focus of his lab. After an initial refusal, Schilling received a Wellcome Foundation grant, with Nigel Holder as his sponsor. During this time, however, Schilling also accepted an assistant professorship at University of California, Irvine. At that point he received two NIH grants, one for retinoic acid and one for his craniofacial work. At the end of the interview, Schilling discusses funding in general, and the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant specifically; he also compares the Wellcome grant with National Institutes of Health and other American grants. He praises the Pew meetings; he compares his Pew talk with other talks he has given; and he talks more about funding generally and about the effects of the funding situation on collegiality and competitiveness in labs and departments. He discusses his love of traveling and of outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, fishing, and biking. He goes on to reflect on benchwork, on his mentoring style, which he sees as engaged and helpful, and on the necessity of informing the public about scientific endeavors, which he believes is necessary but difficult. He talks a little more about publishing and study sections, recounting a story of encouragement for one of his students. He ends the interview with his thoughts about animal rights organizations and university oversight of animal research.
Gary Karpen was born in New York City but grew up in Norwood, New Jersey. His older sister became an astrophysicist and his younger brother an MD/PhD who does both research and clinical work. His father joined the army at the age of 17 to fight in World War II, coming home severely wounded. Forgoing the GI Bill, Gary's father did not go to college but went into his father's construction business. When he was in his 50's Mr. Karpen sold his business, got an education degree, and became a teacher of high-school shop. Karpen's mother was a college graduate and eventually got a PhD in library science. Karpen's grandparents were Orthodox Jews, so his family was observant, though tending more toward Conservative Judaism, and being Jewish was very important in Karpen's youth. In junior high school Karpen had an excellent biology teacher who fired his interest in that subject. In high school Karpen also liked French and English, particularly enjoying reading classical science fiction. He says he procrastinated and did not work especially hard, but he was nevertheless assigned to the honors track. Because Brandeis was strong in pre-med and because Karpen loved biology, he decided to apply for early acceptance, successfully, as it turned out. There he discovered that the "tinkering" he and his father had done together over the years resolved into a love of solving puzzles, of figuring out how things worked or fit together, and he knew he did not want to practice medicine but to be a researcher. From Brandeis he went to the University of Washington to be a technician in Gerold Schubiger's lab. He spent three years in this position before crossing the bridge to the genetics department for graduate school, where he worked in Larry Sandler's and Charles Laird's labs, transforming ribosomal genes into flies. He also met and married Monica Medina, and they had their first child during these years. From Seattle the Karpens went to Washington, D.C., where Karpen had accepted a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, working on centromeres in Allan Spradling's lab. Another child, a daughter, made her appearance during this time. After his postdoc, Karpen took a position at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. There he established his own lab, and he teaches the occasional course. He continues quite happily to work on heterochromatin chromosome inheritance and centromere identity; to explore his Jewish heritage; to seek funding; to publish his work; to mentor the people in his lab; and to hang out with his children.
Ralph C. Budd grew up in Middletown, New York, in a close and happy family that included his parents and an older brother. He attended public schools, where he had good teachers who fostered his early interest and ability in science and mathematics. He attended MIT for his freshman year of college, but found it too intense; he transferred to Cornell University, which he very much preferred for academic reasons and because it is in a rural setting. There he continued studying the organ and sang in the University choir, where he met his future wife, Lenore Fritz. While Lenore was still an undergraduate Budd began medical school at Cornell University Medical School in New York City; they married and lived the commuter life for the remaining two years. During his residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Budd decided to specialize in rheumatology because it offered insight into many diseases and failings of the human body. He then began postdoctoral work in Kendall A. Smith’s lab at Dartmouth College, where he found his medical practice and his research influencing each other, a pattern he continues to maintain. He went to Lausanne, Switzerland, to study T lymphocyte development in lymphoproliferative mice at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He returned to Stanford University to study immunology in C. Garrison Fathman’s lab. He was heavily courted by Genentech and worked there for a year, until market forces forced cutbacks. From the West Coast he went to University of Vermont, where he continues to teach, mentor, review articles and papers, and do research. He believes that basic science is crucial, that attempting to direct results is counterproductive; but he is very interested in potential therapeutic applications of his research; viz. his research into lpr mice might provide help for lupus sufferers; and he thinks that fas gene studies have potential for sufferers of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. He and Lenore have a son, Graham, who is ten years old; and a daughter, Laura, who is five years old. The family likes to engage in various outdoor activities and sports. Budd enjoys wine and espresso; he loves classical music, and plays the organ when he can find time.
Martin Latterich was born in Hamburg, Germany, though lived in Mönchengladbach, Germany until he left for college. His mother, a trained chemist who worked in quality control at a company that manufactured perfume, had a congenital kidney defect that required treatment, so Latterich spent a lot of time with his maternal grandmother, who was an accountant, and his maternal grandfather, who was an artist trained at Düsseldorf Art Academy and who started his own arts and graphics business. From a young age he was interested in his mother's work, like gas chromatography and atomic absorption spectroscopy, visiting her at her office often. With a proclivity towards science and technology, Latterich spent much of his youth performing his own experiments (with chemistry sets and the like) and taking apart pieces of electronics. In high school he entered and placed in the Jugend Forscht, a National Young Scientists Competition, with work on cadmium: he studied the toxicity of cadmium—when in ionic form compared to when taken up as an organometallic complex—in algae and in Daphnia (water fleas). Latterich chose to attend Durham University in the United Kingdom for his undergraduate degree, during which time he undertook an undergraduate research project studying pathogenesis mechanisms and crown gall tumors with Charles Shaw. For the summer after his second year at college he worked under John Boyle at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Manchester, England on exonucleases: he wanted experience in mammalian-type cell biology/biochemistry, which he felt Durham could not offer (its strongest focus was in plant sciences). Latterich decided to stay at Durham for his graduate degree since he was interested in working with Martin Watson and on lysosome vacuole biogenesis. He met Randy W. Schekman and decided to go to his laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, as a postdoctoral fellow in order to research vesicular movements in intracellular transport. From there he accepted a position at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. After some time in the academy, he decided to move into industry to gain access to resources unavailable at a university, first working for Diversa Corporation and then for Illunina, Incorporated. Ultimately, though, he chose to return to academia and accepted a position at McGill University in Montreal, Québec, Canada, researching membrane-fusion elements required for intracellular transport. During the interview Latterich discusses his family life and his career, especially his wife and daughter; setting up his various labs; learning about the history of science; and the practical applications of Latterich's research. He also talks about his funding history; the process of writing journal articles; product development in industrial science; scientific collaborations between the academy and industry; and his role on scientific advisory boards. The interview concludes with Latterich's thoughts on the privatization of research; morality and scientific research; the role of the scientist in educating the public about science; science and religion; and the role of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences in his work.
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.
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.
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.