Browse Oral Histories Alphabetically

Daniel P. Raleigh grew up in Arcata, California. He attended Humboldt State University, and was pushed by an excellent faculty member towards chemistry. He loved math, but he felt he lacked the spark" to be an original mathematician. Raleigh attended graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; there he joined Robert G. Griffin's laboratory, where he became interested in biological problems, which he pursued during a biochemistry postdoc at University of Oxford. When at State University New York, Stony Brook, he immediately established his lab, developing his own form of management and mentoring. He has purposely chosen to avoid corporate funding. He is interested in the history of science, as he feels it important to place scientific findings in broader context. When not working, he focuses his time on environmental causes."

George Rathmann discusses his upbringing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his undergraduate work in physical chemistry at Northwestern University, and later his graduate studies in physical chemistry at Princeton University. Rathmann has a successful industrious career, from working as a research chemist at 3M Company to acting as Vice-President of Research and Development at Abbott Laboratories, where he became greatly interested in recombinant DNA. Later in his career, Rathmann became more involved in the world of biotechnology and biotech companies. 

Mark A. Ratner discusses his upbringing in Cleveland, Ohio, his undergraduate years at Harvard University, his graduate studies at Northwestern University, and his postdoctoral fellowship in Denmark and Munich. Afterwards, Ratner began working at New York University while exploring molecular electronics, but returned to Northwestern as a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. Ratner also reflects on his collaborations with IBM and DARPA, his experiences as organizing chair and a member of the board of directors for the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC), and on the future of nanotechnology. 

Frank J. Rauscher, III grew up near Washington, D. C. His father was director of the National Cancer Institute, to which Rauscher attributes his early interest in biology. He attended Moravian College, spending breaks in labs at Columbia University and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Next, Rauscher entered Edwin Cadman's lab as a technician. Interested in molecular biology and oncogene research, he entered graduate school at SUNY Buffalo, where he studied the interaction of drugs and chromatin. During a postdoc in the Tom Curran lab at Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, his research focused on the fosoncogene. Finally, Rauscher set up his lab as an assistant professor at the Wistar Institute. He discusses grant writing, competition, hypothesis driven" science, and the importance of basic cancer research. "

For more information on Jeffrey Ravetch, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.

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

A.R. Ravishankara grew up in Mysore and Bangalore, India, the son of a farmer who died when Ravishankara was ten years old. Ravishankara graduate high school at fourteen and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Mysore. He entered the PhD program at the University of Florida, where he worked on hydrofluorocarbon under Robert Hanrahan. After stints at the University of Maryland and Georgia Tech, Ravishankara moved to the Aeronomy Lab at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, where he later became head of the Chemical Science Division. Much of Ravishankara's current work involves explaining his research to government policy makers and members of the Montreal Protocol.  

Pradip Raychaudhuri grew up in Calcutta, India. His grandfather influenced him in mathematics, working problems with him from an early age. His father inspired his interest in the Hindu religion, believing Hinduism and science were compatible. Raychaudhuri attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, where he studied protein synthesis in Umadas Maitra's lab. Next, he accepted a postdoc in the Joseph R. Nevins lab at Rockefeller University, where he showed that E1A activates transcription factors by removing tumor suppressors. He discusses funding difficulties, grant writing, balancing clinical and basic science, and recent funding history. After three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University Raychaudhuri accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Illinois College of Medicine; he has since received tenure. 

Harold J. Read describes his family background and his upbringing in Illinois, where he also earned his B.S. and M.A. from the University of Illinois but Read later relocated to the University of Pennsylvania where his Ph.D. research brought him into the area of metallurgy. Read also worked for the Mellon Institute where his metal-work eventually led to equipment design and manufacturing prototypes for the Manhattan Project. Read was also greatly involved in the Electrochemical Society, eventually becoming its President while overlooking its publications. 

Charles Reed discusses his upbringing in Findlay, Ohio, later earning his B.S. in chemistry from the Case School of Applied Science but pursued a D. Sc. in  both chemistry and chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While teaching as an assistant professor, Reed also began to consult for various companies and later started a long career at the General Electric Company. In time, Reed gradually moved up the management ladder as he worked with various materials, like organosilicon polymers, phenolic laminates, the commercial development of synthetic diamonds, and the development of both polycarbonates and polyphenylene oxide. 

Elsa Reichmanis discusses her family's immigration to the United States and her childhood in Syracuse, New York, where she also obtained her B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Syracuse University. Later, Reichmanis took a technical staff position at AT&T Bell Laboratories, which is currently known as Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and eventually she was promoted to director. Reichmanis describes her work, which involves photonic research and deep-UV lithography, while also offering her views on Valerie J. Kuck's research on women in chemistry, the definition of innovation, and the future of chemistry. 

Tadeus Reichstein discusses his long and distinguished career as an organic chemist, recalling his early education in Germany and Switzerland and eventually coming to work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Later, Reichstein moved to the Pharmaceutical Institute at Basel, where he began work in Vitamin C synthesis, cortisone, and other adrenal hormones and glycosides, all of which led to his Nobel Prize in 1950. 

Karin M. Reinisch grew up in Massachusetts and attended Harvard University, where she majored in chemistry, liking to solve problems, but not liking labs. She had Maitland Jones and George Whitesides and worked in the Whitesides lab. She stayed at Harvard for graduate school; there she worked on methyltransferase in William Lipscomb's lab. Reinisch's thesis research became a paper for Cell. Reinisch then accepted a postdoc in Stephen Harrison's lab, where she worked on her reovirus project and published a paper in Nature. From there she accepted a position at Yale University. Reinisch describes developing her own lab, recruiting postdocs, and her current projects, as well as ethics classes, cultural differences, the future of membrane trafficking, women in science, and science education. 

After studying chemistry at the University of Idaho, Malcolm Renfrew joined George Glockler at Minnesota for research on Raman spectroscopy but later joined Arlington laboratories of du Pont where he became involved in plastics development and Teflon. Renfrew also expresses an interest in health and safety in the chemical environment as he reflects on his career in industry, which includes his ascension through the research management ladder at General Mills and Spencer Kellogg. Renfrew eventually returned to his alma mater to teach and lead the physical science department. 

Marilyn Resh attended Princeton University and under the aegis of Meredithe Applebury she did her senior thesis on the effects of light on rhodopsin. Resh earned her PhD at Harvard University, working  on sodium-potassium ATPase in Guido Guidotti’s lab. Resh stayed at Harvard for postdoctoral work. Because the insulin receptor was becoming understood as a tyrosine kinase and possibly an oncogene, Resh switched fields into cancer research under Raymond Erikson. Resh’s project was studying membrane-binding properties. When she had finished her three-year grant and learned many new techniques from Erikson she took an assistant professorship at Princeton. She set up her lab with a technician and three students and stayed there for about four years. Resh is now at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Resh finds science fulfilling, exciting, flexible, demanding; but she also acknowledges publication and grant pressure; the need for a tough ego; science’s time-consuming nature. She likes the people and the cooperation in science. She discusses women in science, but refuses to accept gender as an excuse for failure.

Charles Rice grew up in California. He attended University of California, Davis where he majored in zoology while there he worked for Dennis Barrett and spent summers at Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory. For graduate school Rice decided on the California Institute of Technology, where he worked in James Strauss’ lab on RNA viruses. He continued in that lab as a postdoc, collaborating with Henry Huang on Sindbis virus and beginning to work on the yellow fever virus vaccine strain. Rice accepted a position at Washington University in St. Louis, continuing to collaborate with Henry Huang and Sondra Schlesinger. His lab continues his work in RNA viruses and has recently begun work on hepatitis C. Rice’s overall objective is to learn how to inhibit virus replication without harming the hosts.

Francis O. Rice discusses his upbringing in England, his studies at Princeton, his teaching career at New York University, and his research and administrative activities at Johns Hopkins University and the Catholic University of America. Rice also recounts his theory on free radicals and assesses the place of science in Catholic universities and an explanation of the Laidler-ADX controversy of the mid 1950's. 

Lee W. Riley was born in Japan and raised near Tokyo and in Bangkok, Thailand. He attended Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco. After deciding to pursue medicine, he completed his internship and residency at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Riley then accepted a fellowship position as Epidemiologic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then as postdoc at Stanford to study enteropathogenic E. coli using molecular biology technology. After time spent studying TB in India, he accepted an assistant professorship at Cornell University Medical College in New York, where he worked on devising a technique to diagnose primary and reactivation TB. Riley's interest in public health led him to work on developing a Salmonella vaccine for chickens. Now, he is the Director of the Fogarty International Center Global Health Equity Scholars Program at University of California, Berkeley, where he continues to work on TB pathogenesis, drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, and global health focusing on infectious diseases of urban slums. 

Rebecca Rimel begins this brief interview with a discussion of the circumstances that led to the formation by The Pew Charitable Trusts of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. She discusses the roles of the Board and the Advisory Committee in determining the mission and aims of the Program, then turns her attention to evolutionary changes that have taken place in the Program over the course of its first five years. After describing the activities and expectations of the Pew Scholars, the interview concludes with Pew's plans for Scholars Programs in areas other than the biomedical sciences. 

John Roberts discusses his upbringing and the impact of Caltech on his interests in chemistry, and goes to describe his studies at UCLA, his brief time at Penn State, and his research at Harvard on the National Research Council Fellowship. Having become acquainted with Cope and other faculty members at MIT, Roberts eventually left MIT for a position at Caltech.

Ivan Maxwell Robinson discusses his upbringing in Nova Scotia, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Acadia University, a master's degree from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Afterwards, Robinson led a successful career at DuPont, as both a research chemist and a supervisor, accredited with chemical innovations like coordination polymerization and copolymers of ethylene-sulfur dioxide. Robinson later joined Indiana University as a visiting scientist, taught genealogy at the Academy of Lifelong Learning, and was awarded the Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement. 

Robert Robson discusses his upbringing in South Dakota, his involvement with the Army, his interests in electronics, and his involvement with the electronics and semiconductor industries. Robson describes his employment at Farnsworth Electronics Incorporated, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, Amelco, Teledyne, Intersil, and Microma. Robson also discusses his interactions with Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, Andrew Grove and his friendship with Gordon and Betty Moore. 

Eugene G. Rochow discusses his family background in Germany, his upbringing in New Jersey, and his early interests in electricity and silicon which led him to pursue degrees in chemistry at Cornell University where he worked as an assistant for Louis M. Dennis and Alfred Stock. Rochow has an extensive career in silicone production, including ethyl phenyl silicone and methyl silicone, and research on nuclear fission as a source of domestic energy but later resigned from this work because of his Quaker beliefs. Rochow also comments on his teaching at Harvard University and his Perkin Medal. 

Arthur Rock discusses his life, including his service in the United States Army during World War II, his undergraduate years at Syracuse University, and his graduate studies at Harvard Business School. Rock worked on Wall Street when he discovered his interest in business technology, eventually working to establish technological companies such as General Transistor and later became involved in venture capitalism and semiconductor firms. Rock reflects on the successes of his firms, Davis & Rock and Teledyne Technologies, and comments on the growing connection between semiconductors and computers. 

For more information on Adrienne Rogalski-Wilk, 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. 

Scott W. Rogers was born in Ogden, Utah. As a child, he participated in science fairs, attended the National Youth Science Camps, and spent summers working in national parks. He matriculated at Utah State to study botany, but soon found it boring, wanting to be more active in the discovery process. " Though delayed by family difficulties, he entered University of Utah to study human genetics. In Martin Rechsteiner's cell biology lab, he set out to show that protein degradation could occur outside lysosome and could be selective, and discovered PEST sequences. He took a postdoc at the Salk Institute, working on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. He set up his lab at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, but soon took a position at the University of Utah. "

Robert Roland describes his family background and upbringing in Upper Darby, PA, as well as his education at Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Roland also reflects on his career in the U. S. Navy as General Counsel and Contract Administrator, and his appointment as president of the Chemical Manufacturers Association [CMA]. Roland discusses his role in developing the industry's standards for safety, health, the environment, management training, and finally the industry's future. 

Victor Romano was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania. His neighborhood consisted of mostly Italians and African-Americans. During Romano’s childhood, Ambler was a nice blue-collar town, dependent on Richard Mattison and his asbestos shingle factory, Keasbey & Mattison (K&M). Businesses stretched along Main Street; there was a trolley and then a train to Philadelphia. Romano describes the good sledding on waste dumps at the factory and says kids swam and fished in the reservoir. When Romano returned from military service and settled in Ambler with his wife, the town had already begun its decline. The first deaths known to be from asbestosis were occurring. A high-rise project, ultimately rejected, brought to light the asbestos hazard in the “White Mountains.” Romano’s sister, a member of the Borough of Ambler Council, and Romano’s uncle, a chemist at the Navy Yard of Philadelphia, were instrumental in persuading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remediate the Ambler piles. No one in Romano’s circle has been sickened. He is not concerned about having lived and played amidst all the asbestos, and he would not fear having his grandchildren living there. Romano feels that Ambler is a good place to live.

David Ron was born in a kibbutz near Haifa, Israel. During medical school he spent a summer working in Avraham Hershko's lab, and at Hammersmith Hospital in London, where he did rotations in endocrinology, neurology, and hematology. After a year at the Technion he entered the army for five years. He was a medic assigned to the Golan Heights during a war with Lebanon; soldiers there suffered crash injuries, and Ron published a paper on forced bicarbonate infusion as a treatment for renal failure. During a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Ron became interested in genetic regulation of responses to stresses on the endoplasmic reticulum. Ron is now an assistant professor at the Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, where he researches CHOP and the IRE-1beta gene. 

Christopher Rongo  was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. His undergraduate work at the University of California, San Diego fed his love of science, but a difficult research project in Ruth Lehmann's lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) nearly ended his scientific career. Refocusing his efforts and determination, he was finally able to succeed in Lehmann's lab, and graduate just before she left MIT. He faced similar obstacles in Josh Kaplan's lab, first at Massachusetts General  Hospital  and then at the University  of California , Berkeley . Despite setbacks as a graduate student and a postdoc, Rongo's career flourished as a professor. The majority of his interview is focused on his work with Rutgers and the challenges faced by principal investigators attempting to juggle social lives, funding applications, and their own desire to be at the bench. His increased interest in medical relevance in his work fuels his ambition. He looks towards what science has to offer in the future and is excited by the prospects that lie ahead, while openly facing the challenges presented to him. He discusses his receipt of the Pew Biomedical Scholars Award and what that has meant to his career. 

Antony Rosen grew up in South Africa. He was not especially inspired by school until he got to medical school, which, in South Africa, begins right after high school. He did a rotating internship and studied for a year in Capetown with Wieland Gevers. His PhD application was rejected by the authorities in South Africa, so he accepted a postdoc in the Alan A. Aderem lab at Rockefeller University. Interested in returning to clinical medicine, he secured an Osler residency and rheumatology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He soon accepted a faculty position and established his own lab. Rosen's current research centers on apoptosis. He discusses practical applications of his work,  views on patents, competition and collaboration in science, and the origin of his ideas. 

George Rosenkranz was born in Budapest, Hungary and studied chemical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. While en-route to Ecuador to assume an academic position at the University of Quito, Rosenkranz decided to stay in Havana and eventually started a career in industry, most notably at Syntex Corporation where he climbed the managerial ranks to CEO. Rosenkranz concludes the interview with a discussion of Syntex's growth and future endeavors.

Philip M. Rosoff grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He entered New York University majoring in biology. For medical school Rosoff chose Case Western Reserve University, which started its medical students in clinical work in their first year. He found he liked and was good at medicine, but he still wanted to do science. Rosoff went to Boston Children’s Hospital for his residency and in his last year began working in hematology/oncology with Harvey Cohen, staying at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Center. When Cohen left for the University of Rochester Rosoff went into Vicki Sato’s immunology lab; shortly thereafter he went to Lewis Cantley’s lab, working in the biochemistry of cell signaling. Cantley moved to Tufts University, and Rosoff accepted an assistant professorship there as well, starting his own lab in a growing department.

Philip M. Rosoff attended New York University, majoring in biology. For medical school Rosoff chose Case Western Reserve University, which started its medical students in clinical work in their first year. He found he liked and was good at medicine, but a lingering interest in science persisted. Impressed by three pediatricians who practiced medicine and worked in science, he went to Boston Children’s Hospital for his residency. In his last year he began working in hematology/oncology with Harvey Cohen, staying at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Center. Rosoff also spent time in Vicki Sato’s immunology lab and Lewis Cantley’s lab, working in the biochemistry of cell signaling. Rosoff accepted an assistant professorship at Tufts University and decided to change his clinical status to science. Rosoff discusses his calcium channel project and possible collaboration with another Pew Scholar, Michael Snyder.

James Roth recounts his formative yeas at the Bronx High School of Science in Bronx, New York, his early interests in research and physical chemistry, and his service in Iwo Jima. Roth reflects on his career in industry, from his work on solid propellants and photochemical smog at the Franklin Institute, his safe production of synthetic rubber, and his research on heterogeneous catalyst and homogeneous catalysis at Monsanto Company. Roth also discusses a successful patent process, the learning curve for developing technology, the need for empowerment of chemists, and the chemical industry, its future, and the industrial parameters chemists need to achieve their full potential. 

Paul B. Rothman grew up in Queens, New York. As a child, he liked to take things apart to see how they worked. Rothman matriculated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked in the Graham C. Walker lab under the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. He chose to pursue a medical degree in a research environment, settling on the Yale School of Medicine, which used a problem-solving instructional approach. After a residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, he began a postdoc in Frederick Alt's lab at Columbia; there he worked on interleukin-4 regulation of immunoglobulin class-switching. Next, he took a position at Columbia University. He has since focused his research on the role of cytokines in lymphocyte development, though pursuing this work in varied directions. 

Eduardo Rovira received a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. Shortly after college he began working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He spent six years as an oil inspector and then became an on-scene coordinator (OSC) in the five-state region that includes Pennsylvania. When he was called in to perform the initial assessment of the BoRit Asbestos Site, he recommended more sampling of air and water especially. Although a full year of testing found that asbestos risk was too low to require intervention, the EPA decided to list the site on the Superfund National Priorities List anyway. Their justification was that there were both visible and hidden asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that could potentially be made hazardous by people or weather. Rovira describes the different processes involved in remediating Wissahickon Creek, Rose Valley Creek, and Tannery Run Creek. The EPA is now dredging the reservoir to test the ground underneath; the water will be treated and discharged to the Wissahickon Creek. Rovira explains his communication with the citizens of the area. Rovira thinks that capping is the safest and ultimately the cheapest method of remediation.

Louis Rubens discusses his early life in Escanaba, Michigan, the development of his interests in mathematics and chemistry, and his difficulties in finishing his studies when Jordan College closed due to financial difficulties, leaving Rubens to earn only an associate's degree. Unable to transfer to another institution, Rubens took a position at Dow and in time rose through the ranks of research, working on the stabilization and impact enhancement of polystyrene, the production of co-polymers, and the development of the composite foam system. Rubens also comments on the importance of management support for research and the future of the foam industry. 

Irvin I. Rubin discusses his career in the plastics industry, working in a wide range of positions such as a consultant, Chief Shift Scientist, and Plant Manager at various companies. After working at Robinson Plastics Corporations, Montrose Chemical Company, and Columbia Plastic Products Manufacturing Corporations, Rubin eventually became owner of Robinson Plastics and founded RLR Industries, Inc. . Throughout his career, Rubin has been dedicated to the dissemination of plastics education, and now in retirement, he finds himself working toward the preservation of the rich history of the revolutionary plastics industry. 

Charles M. Rubin grew up in Deal, New Jersey and attended the University of Pennsylvania. Inspired by a course in genetics, he decided to study medicine. He studied chromosome abnormalities in William Mellman's lab, conducting research on spina bifida; he found gratification in helping sick children. He was admitted to Tufts University School of Medicine. Rubin did subspecialty training in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Minnesota, and later accepted a fellowship at the University of Chicago. He conducted research on chromosome abnormalities and studying large pieces of DNA with pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Rubin discusses national treatment protocols, research and clinical practice, and his shift toward practice. He finishes with a discussion of the genetic component in cancer and the limits of gene therapy. 

Ariel Ruiz i Altaba was born in Mexico City, but raised in Spain. From an early age he was interested in science and nature, collecting specimens. He matriculated at University of Barcelona, but decided to move to the United States to study molecular biology, a subject that piqued his interest after a lecture about DNA cloning. In G. Nigel Godson's lab at New York University, he published his first paper, on the promotion, termination, and anti-termination in the rpsU-dnaG-rpoD macromolecular synthesis operon of E. coli. He moved to graduate study at Harvard University under Douglas A. Melton, researching peptide growth factors and Xhox3, a vertebrate homeobox gene for anterioposterior patterning. After a postdoc, he accepted a position at the Skirball Institute at NYU. He is now a professor at University of Geneva Medical School. 

Hannele Ruohola-Baker was born in Kullaa, Finland. While at the University of Helsinki, a dynamic biochemistry professor, Ossi Renkonen, introduced her to the practice of scientific research; she joined his lab and began work on studying particular carbohydrates in proteins. After receiving her bachelor's and master's, Ruohola-Baker decided to pursue graduate school abroad, ultimately entering Yale University. She worked in the labs of Terry Platt's lab and Susan Ferro-Novick, developing an assay for cellular transport. Over the course of two postdocs, Ruohola-Baker moved away from protein secretion into the field of developmental biology, studying Drosophila and oogenesis. She is now a principal investigator at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Audrey Rust discusses her love of Nature and her work with the Peninsula Open Space Trust [POST], and how the organization has developed and expanded since she first began. Rust also accredits POST's success to the integral involvement of Gordon and Betty Moore and the support of the Moore Foundation. Rust also sees a bold future ahead for POST and details an interesting method for preservation through personal relationships, creative funding, and an ambitious but detailed plan.