Browse Oral Histories Alphabetically

Hugh A. D’Andrade began his career in corporate law as General Attorney for the Ciba-Geigy Corporation in 1968. By 1977, he had risen through the ranks to become Vice President of Administration and Counsel of the Pharmaceuticals Division. In 1981, he joined Schering-Plough Corporation as Senior Vice-President of Administration. During D’Andrade’s first years with Schering, the company worked with Cetus Corporation on antibiotic screening, and also worked with Biogen on interferon and erythropoietin.  D’Andrade worked on the development side of the interferon project and was instrumental in patent negotiations with Roche.

Seth A. Darst grew up near Seattle, Washington.Though he loved music, the difficulties inherent in a musical career persuaded him to go into chemical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He had never had to study hard before, but he learned fast in college. A required undergraduate class in biochemistry, taught by Larry Gold and Michael Yarus, had introduced him to structural biology. At Stanford for grad school, he worked in Roger Kornberg’s lab on this subject. Near the end of his master’s degree he found electron microscopy and crystallography, his ongoing interests. He remained in Kornberg’s lab until he was offered an assistant professorship at Rockefeller University. Now a tenured professor, he continues his work in prokaryotic transcription.

William H. Davidow obtained his MS in electrical engineering at Dartmouth College, after which Davidow decided to pursue science over business and enrolled in the California Institute of Technology. After receiving his MS at Caltech and his PhD at Stanford University, Davidow worked at General Electric on peripheral devices.  He realized that his talent was in marketing rather than science, and moved on to marketing positions. After working at Hewlett-Packard and Signetics Memory Systems, Davidow moved to Intel and became responsible for marketing of its microprocessor development systems. Eventually he was charged with running the microprocessor division, and embarked on a massive marketing campaign called “Operation Crush.” After the success of Operation Crush Davidow moved to work in Intel’s marketing and sales division; this is the time period during which increasing Japanese competition forced Intel to withdraw from the memory business and focus of microprocessors.

J. Clarence Davies’s interview begins with a discussion of his education, and his uncertainty over whether to become an activist or academic. Davies briefly worked at the Office of Management and Budget as the examiner for the environment, where he found himself continually bombarded by chemical crises. He returned to academia, where he wrote an influential book on pollution and chemical regulation, The Politics of Pollution, but was quickly drawn back to government work. Davies soon became involved with the Ash Council, creating the Environmental Protection Agency. Throughout the interview Davies discussed the difficulties in implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act. According to Davies, the most important elements of TSCA to address in reform will be the burden of proof in TSCA, the way new chemicals are treated and defined, a re-emphasis on the cross-media capabilities of TSCA, and confidential business information.   

Mark Davis grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He matriculated at Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in biology because he thought it answered important questions. He worked in Michael Beer's lab, trying to sequence DNA with a transfer scanning microscope. His advisors suggested graduate studies at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). There he eventually settled in Leroy Hood's laboratory, where he worked successfully with Philip Early, an early molecular biologist. Davis cloned the first mouse genomic library. His next move was to National Institutes of Health. In William Paul's lab he designed a general technology to find genes expressed at very low levels. Recognizing that T-cell receptors are important for immunology, Davis, the only molecular biologist in his department, began his work on T-cell receptors, work that continues today. 

Melvin S. Day grew up during the Depression and often worked in his father's oil company after school to help ends meet. Day attended Bates College as a chemistry major, receiving his BA in 1943. After graduation, Day immediately accepted a position with Metal Hydrides, Inc. in Beverly, Massachusetts. Then he enlisted in the US Army in 1944. Recognizing Day's background in chemistry, the Army sent him to serve at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of the Corps of Engineers for the Manhattan Project. In 1946, Day was assigned to work for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) under Major Alberto Thompson, reviewing newly declassified documents from the Manhattan Project. In 1958, Day transferred to AEC headquarters in Washington, DC to be the Director of the Technical Information Office. He then joined the newly established National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1960, and developed the plans for NASA's information program. In 1970, Day began working for the National Science Foundation (NSF); there he worked on the funding end of developing information systems. He left NSF in 1972 and became the Deputy Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM); there he helped build the Lister Hill Center and to develop MEDLARS and MEDLINE as online systems. 

Robert C. De Lisle was born in Buffalo, New York. He credits his father (an electrical engineer and inventor) with influencing Robert's interest in science. Having won a National Merit Scholarship, he entered University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he discovered a love of lab work, then went onto Case Western University, where he worked in the Ulrich Hopfer laboratory, researching the pancreas. Next, he accepted a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, working with John Williams, whom he followed to the University of Michigan. Eventually De Lisle accepted a position at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He is currently working on two broad projects: what muclin protein does in the exocrine pancreas, and applications to cystic fibrosis. 

Allen G. Debus grew up in Evanston, a suburb to the north of Chicago, where he attended public schools. He earned a BS in chemistry, with almost enough credits for a second major in history. After working at Abbott Laboratories for about five years, Debus decided to seek a PhD in the history of science, at Harvard University under I. Bernard Cohen. He accepted an assistant professorship University of Chicago and became the first director of the Morris Fishbein Center for the Study of the History of Science and Medicine. Debus wanted to study the place of chemistry in the scientific revolution with materials available to all; to that end he has a large collection of rare books from this time period, a collection he began in the early 1940's. He says that he has about 650 such books, the earliest from 1501. 

Peter DeCarlo grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana. His father is a professor at Purdue University and his mother is a teacher. DeCarlo majored in biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and learned mass spectrometry during an internship at American Cyanamid Company. Between college and graduate school DeCarlo spent a year in Kenya. At the University of Colorado he joined Jose-Luis Jimenez's atmospheric research group and did fieldwork in Mexico and Canada. DeCarlo accepted a National Science Foundation postdoctoral award to work at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, then an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship to work in the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he became involved with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. DeCarlo is Assistant Professor of Engineering and Chemistry at Drexel University where he is conducting local and regional atmospheric research, characterizing and developing Aerodyne mass spectrometers, and promoting scientific understanding. 

Sandra J. F. Degen grew up in the San Fernando Valley, outside of Los Angeles, California, one of four children. Her father was a scientist and her mother a seamstress and homemaker. It was expected that the children would go to college, and Sandra chose the University of California, San Diego, where she majored inchemistry. She worked on fibrinogen in Russell Doolittle's lab. Sandra undertook graduate work in Earl Davie's lab at the University of Washington, completing her PhD thesis on human prothrombin. Edward Reich, who had just left Rockefeller University for Meischer Institut in Basel, Switzerland, recruited Sandra and her husband. After two years there, they returned to the states and both accepted assistant professorships in the pediatrics department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Claude K. Deischer received his undergraduate education at Kutztown State and Muhlenberg and went on to graduate and postgraduate research at the University of Pennsylvania. He had an interest in the history of science and he played a part in starting Chymia. He also contributed much to the American Chemical Society and the Moravian Church.

Jack DelConte grew up in South Ambler, Pennsylvania. His father worked at Keasbey & Mattison, as did his grandfather and an uncle; only his uncle and a cousin have developed asbestosis. He remembers Ambler as a thriving town until about the time he returned from the Air Force, when K&M had left and the town began its economic slide. Having returned from the Air Force and a few years working in Washington, D. C. , DelConte and his wife settled in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. DelConte was hired to demolish and refurbish some of the old Wyndham Hotel. When the construction was complete DelConte was hired to manage the hotel's restaurant, 34 East Tavern. When asked his opinion about the BoRit site, DelConte says he trusts the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to be capping it properly. Furthermore, he thinks that attempting to remove all the asbestos is impossible, as it will have been dispersed everywhere by weather and flooding. He says Ambler is progressing nicely. Despite all these changes, however, he says that there is still the old community feel.

Stephen M. Denning was born in rural North Carolina, where he loved to read about scientists and grew interested in chemistry and biology. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Duke University. An emeritus professor of chemistry, Marcus Hobbs, convinced him to go into medicine, as there would be more breakthroughs in that field. Denning attended Duke Medical School where he did research with Sheldon Pinnell on collagen antibodies; he then did his internship and residency at University of Chicago. He accepted a fellowship in cardiology under Joseph C. Greenfield at Duke University, where he has remained. His greatest interest is in the intersection between his clinical work and his research on molecular mechanisms and their therapeutic or interventional value.

For more information on Douglas DeSimone, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences

For more information on this oral history, please contact the Director of the Center for Oral History. 

Joseph DeSimone is now the Director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC. He attended Ursinus College for undergraduate and was recruited by Virginia Polytechnic Institute for graduate school. The University of North Carolina persuaded him to join their faculty where he began work with supercritical fluids. He became the first Kenan Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University, eventually establishing an NSF Science and Technology Center. His next interest was supercritical CO2, with which he replaced water to manufacture surfactants. DeSimone found further use for supercritical CO2, producing bioabsorbable stents with Richard Stack. He met Stephen Quake and changed the direction of the STC from CO2 to more microfluidics, inventing “liquid Teflon.” He and his students invented PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates), developing uniform colloidal particles for the delivery of nucleic acids and medicines, and founded, Liquidia Technologies. Because of PRINT’s nanotechnology DeSimone was asked to establish the Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. DeSimone established the Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience, and Technology, increasing knowledge in medicine and energy.

Rolf Dessauer was born in Nuremberg, Germany, one of two sons of a physician and a housewife. His family fled to the United States after Kristallnacht, eventually settling in Flushing, New York. After service in the U. S. Army, Dessauer received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. Dessauer began his career at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, working at the Jackson Laboratory on dyes and UV-screening agents. He developed dyes for Alcoa's anodized aluminum, discovered a way to color Teflon, and taught dye chemistry to employees at DuPont's Ducilo plant in Buenos Aires. Although his inventions often met with resistance, his work on UV-screening agents was a commercial success.

In his oral history Michael J. Dewar describes his education and long career in chemistry, both in academia and industry. He discusses his research and colleagues at Courtalds, Ltd. , his learning physical chemistry, his work on resonance theory and molecular orbital theory, and his theoretical publications at that time. He also describes his associations with H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Charles A. Coulson, and Jack Roberts. 

Ken A. Dill grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, one of two children. His father was an engineer for the telephone company and his mother a housewife. Having displayed an early interest in electronics, Dill attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), obtaining a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in bioengineering. His master's degree experience convinced him he wanted to do research so he applied for and received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and matriculated at the University of California, San Diego. Rotations there gave him an interest in questions about the origins of life. 

Carol Ann DiPietro's mother's families left Italy to settle in Ambler, Pennsylvania, where her great-grandfather and grandfather worked in the asbestos factory, Keasbey & Mattison Company. Her mother worked there as a secretary and tells of white dust visible in the air and settling all over clothing. A parting gift from the company was a box of raw asbestos, which Carol took to kindergarten show and tell. At that time, however, asbestos was not known to be a hazardous material and no relatives died of asbestos-related diseases. The decline of the town center began with the building of the mall in the 1970s; then CertainTeed Corporation moved out of Ambler. When a large high-rise project was proposed for Kane Core, the asbestos problem came to light. DiPietro was living in Lower Gwynedd Township and began attending the high-rise meetings. She became interested in the asbestos question, and began to attend BoRit community advisory group (CAG) meetings as well. Eventually she was appointed to the Planning Commission. She thinks the EPA should have done more for Ambler back in the 1980s when the remedy of capping the White Mountains was chosen. She wishes the asbestos at the BoRit site could be taken completely away. She wants very much to see the six-acre wasted space made into a park-like area.

The central portion of Carl Djerassi's interview covers his life as a student at the University of Wisconsin, followed by research work at Ciba, a faculty position at Wayne State University, and steroid research at Syntex in Mexico City. The interview continues with a move to Stanford University, and expands on Djerassi's dual positions in business and academe, concluding with personal views on writing scientific and non-scientific literature, interest in the arts, and a number of ways in which chemistry has changed during his career. 

In his oral history William von Eggers Doering describes his introduction to chemistry and the his long academic career working at several top tier univerisites. He also discusses his environmental work, industrial consultancy, and the conflicting demands of an academic career. 

Patrick Dolph was born in Portland, Oregon. As a child, he enjoyed collecting bugs and wanted to be an entomologist. His high school biology teacher emphasized Mendel's genetics experiments, stirring Dolph's enthusiasm. He studied biology at Oregon State University and began genetics classes as a sophomore, greatly influenced by Paul Roberts. After working for a time at the Oregon Health Science Center, he got his master's at Ohio State University, working on the genetics of Erwinia stewartii at Ohio State University. He did his Ph.D. at NYU, then took a postdoc at University of California, San Diego, working on arrestin and the regulation of signal transduction in the Drosophila melanogaster visual system. Next, Dolph accepted a position at Dartmouth, where he researches cell death in photoreceptor cells. 

Edward Donley's oral history describes his early life, education, and long career at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. His experiences highlight the growth of that company from a family business to the major corporation that it is today. 

Richard I. Dorsky grew up in Palo Alto, California. His father was a chemist who nurtured Dorsky's early interest in science with simple experiments at home and trips to the chemistry lab. An outstanding biology teacher in high school turned Dorsky's interest in chemistry to a love of biology. Dorsky majored in molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He worked in Mark Davis's lab at Stanford University, then entered Corey Goodman's lab, where he wrote his honors thesis with Alex Kolodkin. At University of California, San Diego, for his PhD work, Dorsky began working on notch function gene in the retina. He became interested Wnt signaling and zebrafish. At the University of Washington for his postdoc, he worked in two labs: David Raible's and Randall Moon's. He left Washington for an assistant professorship at the University of Utah. 

Paul Doty's oral history describes his life and work in organic chemistry, ranging from an early interest in chemistry, to graduate work with polymers, to his eventual work on denaturation of proteins. Additionally, the interview covers Doty's activism with regard to both national and academic policies. 

For more information on Sylvie Doublié, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.

For more information on this oral history, please contact the Director of the Center for Oral History. 

Bernadette Dougherty grew up in Abington, Pennsylvania, moving to Ambler after her marriage. She attended Temple University receiving a degree in community and regional planning. Dougherty became active in the Wissahickon Valley Historical Society, served on the Borough of Ambler Council for two years, and on a number of other boards as well. When the asbestos plant in Ambler closed, Ambler's economy declined, and Dougherty decided to take action. During this time Dougherty became more concerned about the hazards of asbestos. She joined the future use committee of the community advisory group (CAG), and felt that the members were well-informed and involved. She has found the EPA thorough and is comfortable with their decisions. She believes very strongly that capping is preferred to the removal of the asbestos. Dougherty believes that her community and regional planning degree has given her insight into what questions to ask. She hopes more citizens will become involved. 

Joseph P. Dougherty attended New York University for his undergraduate degree, where he became interested in genetic manipulations and gene therapy. After working as a lab technician at Mount Sinai Hospital, he undertook his graduate work at Yale University with Peter Lengyel. Dougherty then pursued post-doctoral research with Pierre Chambon in Strasbourg, France and subsequently with Howard Temin at the University of Wisconsin. The two very different post-doctoral experiences allowed Dougherty the opportunity to discuss funding and science in different countries and different types of academic institutions. Throughout the interview Dougherty talks openly about issues related to funding and his persistent interest in moving to France, and, additionally, the duty of the scientist to educate people. 

Ronald Duarte and Gordon Moore attended the same grammar school, although Moore was a year older than Duarte and they did not take any classes together. Duarte recalls fond memories of Moore’s mother, and memories of Moore’s two brothers. Duarte and Moore kept in touch for a time after Moore moved to Redwood City, California, from Pescadero, and now they see each other when Moore visits Pescadero.

Dubois describes how he studied chemistry and medicine during the German invasion of France and elucidates his active roles in the French Resistance and in post-War French politics. Next, Dubois discusses how he came to be an essential figure in the creation of the University of Saarland. He describes his work as head of IUPAC's (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) Committee on Machine Documentation, the creation of CEDOCAR (Centre de Documentation de l'armement), and his creation of the Bureau of Scientific Information (BIS). In conclusion, Dubois discusses the successes and failures of various information systems in France. 

Patricia F. Ducy grew up in Lyon, France, an only child. When she was about twelve she had a biology teacher who inspired her to go into genetics She studied pharmacy and then general biology before she was accepted into Université Claude Bernard's PhD program in genetics. She worked in Robert Garrone's histology lab, where she conducted research on actin in fresh-water sponges. She expected to stay in France and do research, but when she heard Gerard Karsenty give a talk she knew she had found what she wanted to do. She accepted a postdoc in Karsenty's lab at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. A paper she published on osteoblastic-specific transcription factor has been crucial to the field. She accepted a research associate position, then an assistant professorship, at the Baylor College of Medicine. Ducy and Karsenty divided their research, Ducy taking her work on osteoblasts, seeking a connection between fat and bone; they continued to collaborate, and eventually married. Then they moved to Columbia University, where they joined their labs and some of their research. 

Nathalie Dusoulier recounts how she started working in information science from her background in pharmacology. She then speaks about her employment at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). She describes the number of different forms her career at CNRS took, from indexing articles to directing the biology and human science sections of CNRS's publication, Bulletin Signalétique. 

Helen DuTeau has been working with Superfund community involvement programs in the Environmental Protection Agency for more than twenty years. She explains the law that cites community involvement as an important factor in educating and engaging communities throughout the cleanup process. She describes the process of designing a community involvement plan and the points at which the community is encouraged to comment on the EPA's work. DuTeau has to balance communities' interests with the requirements of the law. She emphasizes that flexibility is the key to a successful remediation. Communities often form an advisory group (CAG), and host meetings in which citizens voice their opinions. Communication between EPA and CAG is crucial, especially in the early stages. DuTeau oversees community involvement activities for Superfund BoRit in Ambler, Pennsylvania, where asbestos-containing waste materials were accumulated. BoRit has an active and knowledgeable CAG. West Ambler, the community most directly affected, has two representatives in the CAG. Although the remedial investigation and feasibility study are not yet complete, the EPA has done extensive removal work at the site and residents are looking forward to a restoration of Whitpain Park. 

Elizabeth Dyer's oral history covers her childhood and early interest in chemistry, as well as her graduate years at Harvard and long career at the University of Delaware. Additionally, she discusses how important teaching has been in her life and her work in polymers. 

Brian D. Dynlacht grew up in Coral Gables, Florida. He admired his father, a Holocaust survivor, and his mother, who raised her children while Dylnlacht's father traveled for work. An experience in an organic chemistry lab as a high schooler kindled his enthusiasm for science. Dynlacht attended Yale for undergrad and University of California, Berkeley for his PhD. He researched gene regulation and cell-growth regulatory networks in a postdoctoral position at Massachusetts General Hospital. He took a position at Harvard, but after several years realized that New York was a better fit and moved to the NYU Cancer Institute. While his benchwork has decreased, overseeing his laboratory, writing, reviewing, travelling, and teaching, have come to occupy a significant part of his time as a principal investigator.