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.
Philip Eaton's oral history covers his childhood, undergraduate career at Princeton, graduate work at Harvard, and his long career at the University of Chicago. In this interview he discusses teaching, consulting, and his work in organic chemistry. Eaton concludes the interview with a discussion on the future or scientific research, maintaining excellence in chemistry education and research, and thoughts on his wife, Phyllis.
Sidney Edelstein's oral history begins with his childhood in Tennessee and follows his life all the way through the formation and success of Dexter Chemical Corporation. In his interview he discusses the major world events he faced, discrimination because of religion, and his philanthropic work.
For more information on Barbara Ehrlich, 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.
For more information on Michael Eisen, 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.
Hubert Eleuterio's oral history describes his interest in science from an early age, and the events that led him to go to graduate school for Chemistry. He chronicles his long career at DuPont in Delaware, his work with the Atomic Energy Commission, and his activities after his retirement.
Charles L. Elkins witnessed the centralization of federal environmental regulation in the early 1970s, first as an Office of Management and Budget examiner and then in the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Within the new EPA, Elkins worked in the Office of Categorical Programs, where he was involved with the pre-Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Office of Toxic Substances and the Noise Abatement Program. Elkins became the director of the Office of Toxic Substances in 1986. The biggest challenge he faced was TSCA’s lack of a coherent mandate; the program instead consisted of several distinct tasks, each beset with procedural impediments. Elkins laments the lack of involvement by environmental and public health advocates in the Office, limiting the pressure it could exert when negotiating with industry for more stringent voluntary measures.
Stephen J. Elledge was born in Paris, Illinois. As a child, he played with chemistry kits, made rockets, and joined his high school chemistry team. He studied chemistry at the University of Illinois, the first of his family to attend college, then went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked in Graham Walker’s lab, combining molecular biology and genetics, and becoming interested in cloning. Stanford University offered him a postdoc in Ronald Davis’ lab, where he researched how cyclin-dependent kinases that run the cell cycle were regulated. Elledge accepted an assistant professorship at Baylor College of Medicine, where he still works today. He has brought technological advances to genetics and discovered inhibitor molecules, especially the tumor suppressor p21, the first mammaliam inhibitor.
Andrew D. Ellington credits his love of science and research to many influential high school teachers, many of whom he still speaks with. He attended Michigan State University for biochemistry, where he worked tirelessly in the lab, often sleeping in classrooms or computer labs. In Steven Benner’s lab at Harvard he developed his Palimpsest Theory for Evolution based on his observations of RNA. Ellington accepted a postdoc at Harvard Medical School, studying Type 1 self-splicing introns and performed research on in vitro selection in Jack Szostak’s lab. His current research focuses on aptazymes—allosteric ribosomes that can be engineered to recognize almost any molecule. Ellington hopes to show that these can be used to recognize and subdue the HIV virus population of infected individuals.
E. Donald Elliott clerked for Judge Gerhard Gesell and Chief Judge David Bazelon, both of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and served as General Counsel for the US Environmental Protection Agency. Elliott begins his interview by emphasizing that confidentiality about legal matters during his tenure at the EPA. He then discusses the beginnings of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its relation to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. He concentrates on concepts of risk and prevention, explaining their changing interplay over the years. He describes what he wishes the EPA’s role could be and what it is, decrying especially the “disaster” of the failure of the EPA to regulate asbestos.
Beverly M. Emerson was born in Eugene, Oregon, and attended the University of California, San Diego, where she discovered a love of science. She worked in Donald Helinski’s and Peter Geiduschek’s labs; the latter became her mentor, and she continues to have a professional relationship with him. When she finished her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis, she decided to accept a postdoc in Gary Felsenfeld’s lab at the National Institutes of Health; there she began the transcription research that she has continued ever since. Beverly has her own lab now at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.
Douglas J. Epstein was born in Newfoundland, Canada. Though he found school uninspiring, he liked his high school science classes and spent his CÉGEP (Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel) year fascinated by tapeworms and the logic of their design. While at Concordia University, and later McGill, he discovered genetics. After spending several summers as an orderly at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, where his mother worked, he decided to pursue a PhD. During his graduate school career Epstein published eight papers, five as first author. Eventually he became an assistant professor of genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research continues to find new ways in which hedgehog is crucial to neurogenesis; he believes that this work will provide a clearer understanding of diseases caused by alteration in gene function and expression.
Albert Eschenmoser begins his oral history with a discussion of his childhood and path to the field of organic chemistry. He discusses his career and how ETH collaborated with Robert B. Woodward's Harvard research group on the B12 project, and in 1972 they announced the success of the vitamin B12 synthesis. Eschenmoser concludes the interview with a discussion of research funding, his professional recognition, and the ramifications of the vitamin B12 synthesis.
For more information on Diane Etchison, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.
Glen A. Evans grew up in San Diego, California, the oldest of three children. He first decided on a science career when he was in high school, and during the summer before he matriculated at UCSD he worked in Renato Dulbecco’s lab. He graduated in just three years, with a major in biology, enough credits for another major in chemistry, and with two published papers. Evans entered the Medical Scientist Training Program offered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), choosing UCSD, where he continued work he had begun as an undergraduate in Michael G. Rosenfeld’s lab on activation of hormone genes in the pituitary gland. Evans’ first job was in Philip Leder’s lab at the NIH’s Public Health Service, funded by the U.S. Navy. Finding the lab too large, Evans moved to Jonathan Seidman’s lab to work on histocompatibility antigens. When Leder and Seidman left NIH for Harvard University, taking most of the lab with them, Evans decided to finish his third year and then move to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Though he has to fund his own work at the Salk he finds it intellectually free, smaller, and more efficient. His lab is mostly involved with the Human Genome Project. To finish the interview Evans discusses his documentation, a typical day at work, his rolling contract, and his ideal lab environment.
Lawrence Evans begins his oral history by describing his parents and the important influence that his father had in shaping an interest in the sciences. He discusses his early education and the decision to major in chemical engineering at the undergraduate level and continuing his graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. After receiving his PhD he came to MIT as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering with funding through the Ford Foundation. Evans became increasingly more interested in discovering how computers can be used to solve chemical engineering problems. He talks of the formation of the CACHE committee, the work of the committee, and how he eventually became president of the group. He discusses in detail the Aspen Project and the subsequent the formation, expansion, and successes of AspenTech. Evans reflects on his introduction to Javier Garcia-Martinez, and his decision to help establish a company based on Garcia-Martinez’s technology, Rive Technology. The oral history concludes with Evans reflecting on what the future holds for him as well as reflecting back on the values/principles that have guided his life’s work.
Thomas E. Everhart matriculated at Harvard University where he majored in physics. After graduation he went to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for a master’s degree, in conjunction with Hughes Aircraft Company, where he focused on applied physics and engineering. There he first began working with electron beams. For his PhD he went to Clare College, University of Cambridge, working in Charles W. Oatley’s lab. In his dissertation he dealt with SEM contrast formation, observed voltage contrast across P-N junctions, and explored potential applications. After graduation Everhart became an assistant professor of electrical engineering at University of California, Berkeley. With Donald O. Pederson and Paul L. Morton, they founded the first integrated circuit (IC) lab. During his years at Berkeley, Everhart consulted for Watkins-Johnson, Ampex, Westinghouse Research Laboratories, and Hughes Aircraft Company. He also progressed to full professor and then to chairman of the electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) department. Everhart left Berkeley to become Dean of Engineering at Cornell University. After six and a half years at Cornell, Everhart was offered the chancellorship of the University of Illinois. Three years later Everhart was chosen to be president of California Institute of Technology a position he held for ten years.
This interview with James R. Fair begins with a discussion of Fair's childhood in the Midwest. It covers his graduate career, his work during World War II and his long career with Monsanto.
Michael A. Farrar was born in Washington, DC. He attended University of Wisconsin, intending to major in physics and mathematics, but found biology better taught and more interesting; during the summers he worked in a chicken lab trying to manipulate genes. During his last semester he was diagnosed with Addison's disease. At Washington University in St. Louis he worked on interferon receptors in Robert Schreiber's lab; he won the Olin Medical Scientist Foundation Fellowship. He then took a postdoc with Roger Perlmutter, later following him to Merck and Company. There Farrar was able to design his own lab, to interview and recommend for hire the lab staff and technicians, and to buy whatever equipment he wanted. He now works at the University of Minnesota.
Jerry R. Faust grew up in Dallas, Texas, where a school trip to a laboratory confirmed his desire to become a scientist. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University, studying chemistry and biology. After a year as a chemist, he attended graduate school at University of Texas, Arlington. Next, he became a research associate in the Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Faust describes Brown's and Goldstein's backgrounds, the lab's work on cholesterol metabolism, and Nobel research. After eleven years he went to E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company as a principal investigator. Faust describes the structure and research resources of the Du Pont Experimental Station and his projects there. Soon, he decided to pursue is PhD at Tufts University, where he still has a lab.
James Feeney grew up in Philadelphia and earned degrees in chemical engineering and biological sciences. He became a remedial project manager for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Ambler asbestos piles became one of first projects. Familiarizing himself with the project, his job was to approve the design specifications of the remedies and oversee their implementation. The treatment was capping, or covering the pile with a thick layer of dirt and vegetation and then adding a covering to protect against erosion and gabion barriers or revetments alongside waterways. Feeney details the operation and maintenance procedures entailed, explaining that EPA will monitor the sites forever. The piles cannot be removed, but they are safe and continue to be monitored by the EPA. Every five years there is a review of the annual inspections and the review is published. Feeney says that asbestos is a unique challenge because it is not degradable; its control has different and specific regulations. He thinks that people's attitudes toward the EPA have changed since he first began. Feeney strongly emphasizes that the asbestos proportion of the waste is low, that the piles are finished and safe.
Penelope Fenner-Crisp grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Fenner-Crisp majored in zoology, working on mosquitos and malaria in Harry Beckman’s lab, and minored in chemistry. After experience in different labs in the United States and United Kingdom, Fenner-Crisp began work at the Environmental Protection Agency, writing health advisories about neurotoxins in pesticides. She helped organize Women in Science and Engineering. She became deputy director and then director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances; from there Fenner-Crisp went to the Office of Pesticide Programs where she worked on the science policy for the Food Quality Protection Act before retiring. After leaving the EPA Fenner-Crisp was director of the Risk Science Institute at the International Life Sciences Institute for four years, working on cancer guidelines for a different branch of ILSI. She hopes to improve general principles for assessment. Officially retired, she nevertheless continues to work for the non-profit organizations American Chemistry Council and Long-Range Research Initiative.
Catherine Fenselau grew up in York, Nebraska. Always interested in science, first archaeology and ultimately chemistry, she attended Bryn Mawr College. The chairman of the chemistry department, Ernst Berliner, became the first of her three mentors. Fenselau received her PhD in organic chemistry from Stanford University, working in the lab of Carl Djerassi, who became her second mentor. For her postdoc at Berkeley, she entered Calvin Melvin's lab, working directly with Alma Burlingame, then at Johns Hopkins University she worked on a broad range of biomedical problems, and her research shifted its direction more toward biochemistry. Her third mentor, Paul Talalay, helped her buy her first spectrometer, which she used for bacterial analysis and for research into anti-cancer treatments. Fenselau accepted the chairmanship of the chemistry department at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she established a regional mass spectrometry center. She began analyzing whole proteins, publishing papers about using mass spectrometry to map protein topography and about HIV Gag proteins. Fenselau moved to University of Maryland, College Park, for a two-year stint as chairman of the chemistry department. She was involved in the study of anthrax-Amerithrax-promoting the rapid detection and characterization of bacteria with mass spectrometry and she established the US Human Proteomics Organization (USHUPO), becoming its first president. She continues to teach and to conduct research in proteomics and bioinformatics.
Edwin L. Ferguson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his initial interest in computer science began to wane, and a course in genetics pushed him towards biology. He spent some time working in computer programming, but found it boring, and returned to graduate school at MIT to study 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, then to University of California, Berkeley and worked in Kathryn Anderson's lab, studying dorsal-ventral patterning in Drosophila. Next, he took an assistant professorship at the University of Chicago. He continues to work in developmental genetics.
John R. Ferraro was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a tool and die maker, his mother a seamstress in a coat factory. His parents had little education themselves but valued it highly for their children. Ferraro attended Richard T. Crane Technical High School. During the Great Depression Ferraro found a job at General Motors, where he worked before entering Illinois Institute of Technology, majoring in chemistry, working with Norman Kharasch. After graduation Ferraro entered the US Army, during which time he met his future wife. After World War II, Ferraro received a master’s degree from Northwestern University, working under Charles Hurd. He then became a junior scientist position at Argonne National Laboratory. He became interested in infrared spectroscopy, then far-infrared (FIR). He taught at Loyola University in Chicago for five years, leaving there as professor emeritus. He spent a year at the Lunar Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. Ferraro then moved back to Argonne, where he spent a total of fifty-seven years. Ferraro discusses a wide variety of topics both professional and personal. He concludes by summarizing his own contributions to the field.
Herman Fialkov grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Always a smart kid who wanted to build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean. Fialkov attended City College of New York, studying engineering. He left college to take a job with Emerson Radio Corporation, and then enlisted in the United States Army, ultimately serving in the infantry in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. When he was discharged in 1946 he went back to Emerson as a mechanical designer and to night school at New York University. He founded General Transistor Corporation, whose first major customer was UNIVAC. In 1960 General Transistor Corporation merged with General Instrument Corporation and began making integrated circuits. Fialkov invested in Arthur Rock's venture capital firm, Rock and Davis, and became intrigued by venture capital. He founded his own venture capital firm, Geiger and Fialkov, and with that launched almost fifty years in personal and venture capital investments, financing the startup or early development of many important companies, including Intel; Teledyne; Electroglas, Inc.; Standard Microsystems; General Signal; Globecomm Systems; and several Israeli companies.
Frank H. Field was raised in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, by an aunt, an uncle, and a grandmother. He entered Duke University, placing a year ahead in chemistry, but had very little money. To meet his expenses he worked in the school dining hall and graded math papers. He continued on at Duke for his graduate education and worked on using fluorocarbons as hydraulic fluids to replace hydrocarbons on warships. He then took a position at the University of Texas and began his mass spectrometry career. He worked first on measuring the ionization potential of cyclopropane. Field left the University of Texas to work with Joe Franklin at Humble Oil, and then after time at Esso, he was recruited by Rockefeller University as a full professor. He shifted into biochemical mass spectroscopy to be more in keeping with the biomedical orientation of Rockefeller. He built the second Californium-252 mass spectrometer in the world. A talk in Bordeaux, France, excited his enthusiasm for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and he persuaded his postdoc, Brian Chait, to build one.
Bernard Fields begins the interview with a discussion of his early years, his undergraduate career, and his fascination with virology and microbiology. Fields became Chairman of the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department at Harvard in 1982, ending his extensive research in infectious diseases just as AIDS hit the world scene. Fields concludes the interview with a discussion of the future of biological research, developing working relationships with students, and his personal battle with pancreatic cancer.
Erol Fikrig was born in Istanbul, Turkey. The family moved to Queens, New York, when Fikrig was a child. Fikrig attended Cornell University, majoring in chemistry. He decided early, influenced by both his father and his college roommate, to go to medical school. He attended Cornell's Weill School of Medicine. During his third and fourth years he studied in Brazil, where he became interested in vector-borne diseases. Interested in infectious disease and internal medicine, he did his residency at Vanderbilt University. Next, he became a fellow at Yale, where he worked in Richard Flavell's laboratory. He was offered an assistant professorship in rheumatology at Yale, eventually becoming full professor. Fikrig continues to study Lyme disease and other related diseases.
Robert E. Finnigan details his work in instrumentation and engineering, starting at the US Naval Academy and continuing in government and industrial work through the rest of his career.
Linda J. Fisher was the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances; at the time when she became the Assistant Administrator, the Office was primarily focused on pesticides. But, as Fisher recounted, the Office was committed to making the toxics program succeed, often by working around the Toxic Substances Control Act’s (TSCA) statutory obligations. Fisher believes that difficulties in implementing TSCA were rooted in the law’s lack of direction, but that since TSCA was written, the way Congress writes laws has matured. She also believes that a reauthorized TSCA will address the issues of a base set of data and confidential business information and that a stronger TSCA is necessary to accompany the voluntary and pollution prevention measures currently in place. She emphasizes that regulation should address exposures where they occur, whether in the manufacturing process or in products.
David E. Fisher grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey. Deciding to pursue a career in medicine, he attended the Curtis Institute of Music and Swarthmore College concurrently. He spent his first college summer in his father's lab and published his first paper. He also worked in Robert Weinberg's lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he discovered molecular biology and oncology. Interested in lab work, he received an MD/PhD at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Rockefeller University. In Günter Blobel's laboratory he completed thesis projects on systemic lupus erythematosis and T-cells. He talks about funding, teaching, and minority and women students and faculty at Harvard University. His current research is on apoptosis and on microphthalmia transcription factor (Mitf) in melanocytes and osteoclasts.
James A. Fisher begins the interview with a description of his family and early years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating early from Yale University because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Fisher secured a position in a smelter plant making aluminum for warplanes at Alcoa Inc. In 1945, Fisher left Alcoa to work for his father, Chester G. Fisher, at the family business, Fisher Scientific International Inc. After the death of his father, Fisher was instrumental in the creation of the Fisher Museum, which was used to display the Fisher Collection, and the Pasteur Room, which was dedicated to the achievements of Louis Pasteur.
Eileen Flanagan was born in Philadelphia in 1962. She grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Bala Cynwyd, just outside of Philadelphia. She attended Friends Central High School and graduated from Duke University. In the mid-1980s Eileen served in the Peace Corps in Botswana, in southern Africa. After returning to the United States she earned a master’s degree in African studies from Yale University. Eileen then moved back to Pennsylvania to become a writer and teacher who explores topics in spirituality, social justice, and environmental justice. Eileen married and in her early thirties became a mother to two children. Her religious affiliation, as part of the Society for Friends, is Quaker. Eileen lives in Philadelphia, where she serves as board chair of Earth Quaker Action Team.
In his oral history Eugene Flath describes his childhood, his education, and his career at Fairchild and Intel. He discusses his decision to leave Fairchild and the culture of both companies and those he worked with there.
Mark D. Fleming begins the interview discussing his childhood, which was dominated by his father's job at IBM. Following graduation from Princeton, Fleming received a Marshall Scholarship, which allowed him to pursue D Phil work with Sir Jack E. Baldwin at the University of Oxford; Fleming described the differences between scientific research in Europe and the United States in some detail. Next, Fleming undertook medical training at the Harvard Medical School's Health, Sciences, and Technology Program. He developed into a clinically-oriented research pathologist, and eventually became a principal investigator at Children's Hospital. Fleming discussed issues related to funding and laboratory management, mentoring students, increasing the racial diversity of students and of faculty in the sciences, scientific literacy, and collaborations.