Frank J. Biondi majored in chemical engineering at Lehigh University, and worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) in the 1930s. After being in industry for a short period of time, he decided to pursue a graduate education at Columbia University. After completing his master's degree in chemical engineering, he enrolled in the PhD program and became involved in the Manhattan Project. Biondi worked on a gaseous diffusion program to separate uranium 235 from uranium ore, designing the diffusion barrier used for the atom bomb. After making his contribution to the Manhattan Project, Biondi returned to BTL work and focused on electronics, initially developing long-life cathodes used by the British during the war. He continued cathode work, becoming involved with the ASTM to standardize three nickel alloys for electronics industry electron tube cathodes. Biondi's later work focused on fuel cells, the electronics industry's first dust-free white room, semiconductors used for satellites, and improvements in battery manufacture and design.
R. Byron Bird was born in Texas, but Bird's family moved frequently, following Bird's father, a professor of civil engineering. During high school in Washington, DC, Bird developed his interest in foreign languages, and wanted to pursue either language or music in college. However, his father pushed him towards a degree in chemical engineering. Bird completed two years of study at the University of Maryland before entering the US Army to fight in World War II. When he left the Army, he resumed his studies after a brief hiatus in a biochemistry lab of the US Department of Agriculture. Bird completed his degree at the University of Illinois, at Urbana. It was there that he decided he wanted to enter a PhD program in chemistry, and he chose to study at the University of Wisconsin. While in graduate school, Bird conducted rigorous research under Joseph Hirschfelder, and went on to a post-doctoral, Fulbright grant for research in the Netherlands. Bird returned to the United States to take a teaching position in the chemistry department at Cornell University, and after a year there, accepted a position in the chemical engineering department at the University of Wisconsin. Before returning to Wisconsin, Bird spent a summer working for DuPont, where he was introduced to the subject of rheology.
Susan J. Birren demonstrated a clear interest in science and mathematics throughout her early schooling. Birren’s undergraduate career began at University of California, Berkeley, studying biochemistry under Edward E. Penhoet. She worked on isolating opsins from a halobacterium, a high-salt bacterium, and fell in love with working in the lab. From Berkeley she moved on to UCLA and worked with Harvey R. Hirschman on the transcriptional regulation of the metallothionein gene; Kathryn L. Calame also served as a mentor. She remained in California for her postdoctoral work at CalTech, studying the differentiation of neural crest cells. From there she went on to a faculty position at Brandeis University looking at the functional development of neurons. During the interview Birren she discusses gender issues in science; administrative duties; the grant-writing process; balancing career and family; the issue of patents; creativity in science; and the role of serendipity in her work. The interview concludes with thoughts on teaching the history of science; the process of conducting scientific research; setting the national scientific agenda; the role of the scientist in educating the public; and the role of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences on her work.
Pamela Bjorkman became interested in science when she took chemistry and physics in high school. She attended the University of Oregon, working in the labs of Larry Church at Reed College and O. Hayes Griffith. Bjorkman chose Harvard University’s PhD program as the best place to learn biochemistry and molecular biology. She found Don Wiley’s lab exciting and fast-paced and became interested in using X-ray crystallography to understand how major histocompatibility complex proteins are involved in the immune response to pathogens. She accepted a postdoc at Stanford University in Mark Davis’s lab, where she worked producing a T cell receptor that recognizes the MHC protein she studied in graduate school. Bjorkman was recruited to California Institute of Technology, continuing her work in crystallography.
Julius Blank graduated high school at the age of fifteen and began taking classes at the City College of New York while working various jobs. When Blank turned eighteen, he enlisted and was sent to Europe to serve until the end of World War II. When he came home he finished college with the aid of the GI Bill and received a degree in mechanical engineering. Blank worked as an engineer at Babcock and Wilcox Company in Ohio, and then moved to Goodyear Aircraft. After two years, he and his wife moved back to New York where Blank got a job at Western Electric. In 1956, Blank was asked to join Shockley Semiconductor in California. Blank met Gordon Moore at Shockley, and eventually joined Moore and six other Shockley colleagues to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Blank first worked on crystal growing and research and development at Fairchild, but later helped set up assembly plants overseas.
James B. Bliska was born in Grand Junction, Colorado. Yearly summer trips to his family's lake house sparked his interest in biology. While working as a dishwasher in a lab at the University of Wisconsin, Bliska first tried his hand at research. Eventually he was performing lab procedures and publishing. Bliska attended the University of California, Berkeley's Molecular Biology PhD program, researching DNA topology during site-specific recombination reactions. He next took a postdoc in Stanley Falkow's lab at Stanford University, where he attempted to purify a biologically active form of a Yersinia surface membrane protein. Bliska then became a principal investigator at SUNY Stony Brook and received tenure. He studies bacterial-host cell interactions in hopes of explaining a method of toxin delivery that has widespread medical applications.
Konrad E. Bloch was born and raised in Neisse, Germany, and he studied at Technische Hochschule in Munich for his undergraduate degree. During a research assistantship in Davos, Switzerland, Bloch became aware of the cholesterol molecule for the first time. He also produced and published three papers that Columbia University later accepted as partial fulfillment for a PhD in biochemistry, earned in 1938. Bloch describes his teaching and research in biochemistry at Columbia and later the University of Chicago, where he developed an interest in the mechanism of protein synthesis from amino acids. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology with Feodor Lynen in 1964 for his work on cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.
Elkan R. Blout attended DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, earning marks that were high enough to skip three grades. He was still too young to attend college when he graduated, so he enrolled in the Philips Exeter Academy. After a year at Exeter, Blout attended Princeton University, becoming one of only twelve Jewish students accepted in 1935. As a Jewish student, Blout struggled against discrimination from both the University and the students. In 1942, Blout received his PhD in chemistry from Columbia University. He then accepted a fellowship at Harvard University, where he worked with Louis Feiser and R. B. Woodward. After a year, Edwin H. Land offered Blout a position at the Polaroid Company. At Polaroid, he helped develop the instant photographic process and the color translating microscope. At the same time, he received a research grant to study synthetic polypeptides, and established a spectroscopy laboratory at Children's Hospital of Boston. In 1961, Blout left Polaroid for more academic pursuits at Harvard Medical School. In 1991, Blout became the senior science advisor for the Food and Drug Administration.
Salvatore A. Boccuti grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He practiced accounting for a number of years but sold his practice to become an aerial photographer. As a child he played on the White Mountains of Ambler and played baseball on the field that preceded the post office building. He was a co-chair of the CAG and has served on several of the work groups, currently the rules group. He describes some of the CAG's organization and explains the communication procedures between the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the citizens of the several municipal entities involved. Boccuti discusses remediation at the BoRit site, regretting that the asbestos will not be removed entirely or its chemical structure altered. Boccuti points to the long latency period for asbestos-caused disease, and says that those who have not yet sickened are not likely to do so now. He does say that the EPA does not do air testing, which causes worry about capped asbestos becoming airborne in the future. When asked what lessons Ambler might provide for other communities, he stresses the importance of good and strong leadership; continual oversight by citizens; and in-depth knowledge.
Roger S. Borovoy worked as counsel at both Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation and Intel Corporation, placing him at the heart of the semiconductor revolution in America. He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, after a short period of time at Chevron Research, Borovoy began to work as Patent Counsel at Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation, meeting Gordon Moore. Borovoy quickly became entrenched in the burgeoning electronics industry and legal issues surrounding intellectual property and patents. After fighting legal battles with Motorola, and dealing with international licensing issues, he moved on to working for Intel in 1974.
James Anthony Borowiec was born in Buffalo, New York, and was interested in science from an early age. He received his BS in Organic Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980, and his PhD in biochemistry from UCLA in 1986. Borowiec worked in Paul D. Boyer's laboratory at the Molecular Biology Institute, and then in Jay D. Gralla's laboratory. He researched DNA supercoiling; lac; and footprinting technique. He obtained a post-doc at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 1989 he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at New York University Medical Center. His work continues there, encompassing replication of linear DNA, flaws in C. Richard Wobbe's discovery of SSB DNA, T-antigen, ARS, and bovine papillomavirus.
For more information on Robert Boswell, 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.
Ray Boundy studied chemical engineering at Case Institute of Technology where there was a strong interaction with the Dow Chemical Company. Before Boundy had completed his degree at Case he had met Herbert Dow who offered him a position in the Midland laboratories. Starting in the analytical laboratory, Ray Boundy moved to the productive physics group headed by John Grebe. After describing his involvement with early Dow projects, such as the seawater bromine process, sodium electrical conductors, electrolytic chlorine production and applications for ferric chloride, Boundy briefly reviews the work on styrene polymerization, monomer purity, and wartime production. At the end of hostilities in the European sector Boundy joined one of the teams of experts sent over to assess the German chemical industry. Postwar, Boundy had responsibility for plastics at Dow before his promotion to research director.
James U. Bowie was born in Rochester, Minnesota. He discovered biology and proteins while working at the Mayo Clinic, where his father worked. . Bowie received his BA from Carleton College, then spent a year as a lab technician, which convinced him against attending medical school. He attended Michigan Institute of Technology for his PhD instead. Next, he accepted a postdoc in chemistry and biochemistry at University of California, Los Angeles, where he focused on analyzing the sequence and structure of proteins through computational biology and on the use of computer programming to predict protein structure. He also developed an interest in characterizing the structure, function, and regulation of human cell membrane proteins. Bowie is now a faculty member at UCLA.
Raymond Boyer was born and raised in Ohio and he had an early interest in electricity. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at Case Institute of Technology. In discussing his career at the Dow Chemical Company, Boyer provides accounts of discoveries and innovations, especially involving polystyrene; several leading figures there, including Willard and H. H. Dow; and major organizational changes that occurred during his career.
Marilyn C. Bracken worked for and with several government agencies before joining EPA’s Office of Toxic Substances as the deputy assistant administrator for program information and toxic integration. Her responsibilities in program information included creating the TSCA Inventory, where the office decided to use the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to assign unique identities to chemicals. She was also involved in developing Section 8 rules, and supporting industry efforts to develop internal reporting mechanisms. Internationally, she participated in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) discussions to facilitate data sharing and develop a “base set” of data for new chemicals. Bracken believes that TSCA was unique in its authority to be a regulatory catchall with the ability to prevent pollution before it happened.
Christopher Bradfield grew up near San Francisco, California. Calling himself a late bloomer, he began to see the value in learning only after high school. He received a two-year degree from Skyline College and his BA from University of California, Davis. Bradfield next attended the University of California, Berkeley, entering Leonard F. Bjeldanes' lab. He became so involved in his project that he finished a PhD instead of a master's degree. He then took a postdoc in Alan P. Poland's lab at the University of Wisconsin, where he flourished. He briefly accepted a position at Northwestern University before moving to McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at University of Wisconsin. Throughout the interview, Bradfield discusses creativity in science, laboratory work, planning research, and more.
William Braell grew up in Palmyra, New York. He was always interested in science and always had chemistry sets. Braell settled on biochemistry halfway through college at Massachusetts Institute of Technoloogy, where he worked in Philip Robbins' biochemistry lab his senior year. For his PhD, Braell chose to stay at MIT and work on band 3 membrane proteins of red in Harvey Lodish's lab. Braell did his postdoctoral work at Stanford University, in the lab of James Rothman. Braell goes on to detail some of the advances in sciences, particularly in membrane studies. He focuses on the biochemistry involved in the enzymology of membrane fusion. He points out that his work has potential clinical implications: for the AIDS virus, for example, and for drug-protein interactions. Braell hopes to emulate his ideal scientist, Eugene Kennedy, and be still at the bench many years from now.
E. N. (Ned) Brandt, company historian of The Dow Chemical Company and a major figure in Dow's public relations activities for over three decades, begins the interview by touching on his family background and early education, before recalling his activities in news writing positions during high school and journalism school at Michigan State. Brandt joined a quartermaster ROTC unit in 1941, went through Officer Candidate School, and in 1944 volunteered for overseas duty. He describes several interesting experiences during the war in France when he was an intelligence officer and a public relations officer. After a brief stint with UPI in Detroit, Brandt returned to France and worked for the French broadcasting system and the State Department at the Paris embassy. He discusses his work in France, art studies in Paris, and travels to Algeria. In 1953 Brandt resigned from the foreign service and joined Dow. This section of the interview includes recollections of Dow's early public relations department and Bud Smith, and work with Bill Schuette as public relations manager of the newly created Midland Division. Brandt next discusses his concerns as assistant director and then director of public relations in the 1960s, including such topics as Dow's global reorganization in 1965, speech writing for Dow's top executives, environmental issues, The Dow Story, and outside involvement with public affairs organizations. In describing his activities during the 1970s and 1980s, Brandt talks about a visit to Chile, public relations in South Africa, difficulties with Mark Batterson during Zoltan Merszei's tenure as president of Dow, the TV Hot Box, the origins of Dow's history function and the Dow archives, his own decision to retire, and the Futures Initiative. The closing segments of the transcript focus on Brandt's outside activities, especially for historical societies and foundations.
David A. Brenner grew up in Queens, New York, and evinced an early interest in the sciences. As an undergraduate at Yale University he worked in Joseph Bloomer's lab, where he continued his research after earning his bachelor's degree in biology and entering Yale Medical School. His subsequent work has focused on ferrochelatase and fibrosis in cirrhosis. In his 1990 interview, Brenner discusses tenure; his lab management style; competition and collaboration; and his winning of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. Brenner starts the 2009 interview by reviewing his early years in college and affirming his career decisions. He appreciates the insights his clinical experience gives him in his research, and he talks about the Pew award and the Pew annual meetings.
Patrick Brennwald grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He remembers taking many good science classes in high school, and doing a special project on the sex determination mechanism of swordtail fish. Brennwald attended Carleton College, where he began in biology, but switched to chemistry. He loved the bench and realized he wanted to be a scientist. Brennwald entered the University of Illinois, working in Jo Ann Wise's lab. Researching Schizosaccharomyces pombe he cloned four small RNA's and had two first-author papers. After a four year postdoc with Peter Novick at Yale University, he accepted an assistant professorship at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he works on the gene family Rho.
For more information on Roger Brent, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Scholars.
For more information on this oral history, please contact the Director of the Center for Oral History.
Ronald Breslow grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, the son of a physician. Max Tishler, a family friend, helped to pique Breslow's interest in chemistry. In high school, Breslow entered the Westinghouse Science Contest, which enabled him to meet like-minded teenagers. He entered Harvard University, graduating with his AB in chemistry in 1952, having attended chemistry courses taught by Louis Fieser and Paul Bartlett, and having conducted research with Gilbert Stork on the structure of cedrene. Breslow earned his PhD in chemistry in 1955 for his work on magnamycin under R. B. Woodward. In 1956, Breslow joined the faculty of Columbia University, where he has worked on a variety of subjects, including thiamine, cyclopropenyl cation, cyclodextrins, and electron transfer.
Leo Brewer became interested in chemistry through the influence of a high-school chemistry teacher in Los Angeles. He attended Caltech and,. after receiving his BS in 1940, Linus C. Pauling advised him to begin his graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied under Axel R. Olsen. Upon receiving his PhD, Brewer immediately joined the Manhattan Project as a research associate. Brewer's job was to use models in the periodic table to determine the worst properties of plutonium. He tested refractory materials, such as nitrites, carbides, lanthanides, actinides, sulfites, sulfides, and phosphides, and determined that cerium sulfide would serve as the best model (later, Brewer predicted the electronic configuration of all the actinides). His research for the Manhattan Project found direct application at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and was later published as part of the Manhattan Project Technical Series. In 1946, Brewer joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. During his career at Berkeley, Brewer worked in many fields, including organic chemistry, ceramics, astrochemistry, and even geology. Within these areas, he applied his thermodynamic research, including studying high-temperature molecules present in comets and stars, and the distribution of elements in the earth's gravitational field.
Kenneth H. Britten was born in Washington, DC. He received his BS in biology from the California Institute of Technology, where he became interested in neuroscience and neuroethology. He received his PhD in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and remained there for his postdoc in William T. Newsome's lab, later moving with Newsome to Stanford University. Britten and Newsome worked together closely, using psychophysics to map and measure the neuromechanics of perceptive visual fields in primates. In 1993, Britten was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. Britten's research focuses on extrastriate visual cortex in primates and how they respond to complex visual stimuli.
Frances M. Brodsky grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, where her seventh-grade teacher got her interested in biology. In 1972 she entered Radcliffe, where she majored in biochemical sciences. Through a biochemistry mentoring program, Brodsky worked for three summers in Paul D. Gottlieb's laboratory at MIT. While at Oxford University, she worked in Walter F. Bodmer's laboratory, where she researched monoclonal antibodies. In a career that spanned academia and industry, she worked for Stanford University, Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems, and the University of California, San Francisco. Brodsky discusses the issues surrounding funding and how that affects laboratory management, the recent decision by the Board of Regents of the University of California to abolish affirmative action, and the ways scientific collaboration and controversies have affected her.
Herbert C. Brown studied at Crane Junior College, where he became fascinated by chemistry and its history; when Crane closed down, Brown was among the students invited to work in Nicholas D. Cheronis' Synthetical Laboratories, where he earned enough to enroll in a University of Chicago correspondence course on qualitative analysis and supplemented his education by working with Fales's Quantitative Analysis. Brown continued his studies and lab work at Wright Junior College and the University of Chicago. During his career he worked at the University of Chicago, Wayne State University, and later Purdue University; during the interview he detailed his studies on steric effects, boranes, and borohydride synthesis. Brown worked for the National Defense Research Committee during Worald War II, which included research on the volatile compounds of uranium, uranium borohydride production and testing, sodium trimethoxyborohydride production, and sodium borohydride development.
Anthony Brown attended Cranleigh School, where his interest in science evolved past the “inevitable chemistry set.” At the University of Cambridge he found chemistry dull but liked genetics and the history and philosophy of science. He decided to spend his third year in genetics. Two laboratory experiences and a brief foray into the “real world” convinced Brown he wanted to do science, so he entered a PhD program at the University of Edinburgh. Brown spent two postdoctoral years in Pierre Chambon’s lab at the Institute for Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology in Strasbourg, France, and three years in Harold Varmus’ lab at University of California, San Francisco. At this point he was ready for his own lab and was being recruited by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, England. He sought competing offers and found Cornell University’s to be the best match. His work is moving toward developmental biology; he hopes in the future to understand differentiation pathways better.
David R. Bryant was one of seven children and grew up in North Carolina. He began working at age ten, and held various jobs until he earned a scholarship to Wake Forest University. Influenced by his high school science teacher, Bryant double-majored in chemistry and math. After receiving his BS in 1958, Bryant decided to attend graduate school at Duke University. Focusing on organic chemistry, he worked on the conversion of organic compounds into dianions under Charlie Hauser. Bryant earned his PhD in 1961 and immediately took a job with Union Carbide Corporation. He worked on developing a method of producing vinyl acetate without halide, and later worked with benzyl acetate, acrylic acid, and rhodium triphenylphosphite in the Oxo process.
Jochen Buck was born and grew up in Reutlingen, Germany. During the Vietnam War, he became a conscientious objector, working with disabled youths. He decided to become a doctor, but in medical school at the University of Tübingen, he discovered that he loved scientific research. He worked in Ulrich Hammerling's lab, where he localized cell growth caused by autocrine growth factor. He accepted a postdoctoral position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working with Vitamin A and discovering retro-retinoids. Next, he accepted an assistant professorship at Cornell University Medical College. He is now an associate at Cornell, where his lab and Lonny Levin's share space and where he and Levin work together on adenylyl cyclase.
Ralph C. Budd grew up in Middletown, New York, where he had teachers who fostered his interest in science and mathematics, and attended Cornell University. During his residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Budd began specializing in rheumatology. He did postdoctoral work in Kendall A. Smith's lab at Dartmouth College, where he found his medical practice and his research influencing each other. He went to Lausanne, Switzerland, to study T lymphocyte development in lymphoproliferative mice at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and studied immunology at Stanford University. After a year at Genentech, he settled at the University of Vermont, where he continues to teach, mentor, and do research. He believes basic science is crucial, attempting to direct results is counterproductive, and is interested in therapeutic applications of his research.
Stephen Buratowski grew up in Iselin, New Jersey. He liked to read science stories and mysteries (Jules Verne and Encyclopedia Brown), and knew as a child that he wanted to be a scientist. A Princeton University recruiter helped him decide to attend Princeton, which he called “paradise.” There he met George Khoury, and asked to study in Khoury’s lab at the National Cancer Institute during the summer. There he did recombinant DNA for the first time. In Philip Sharp’s lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked with Steven Hahn on TFIID. He got a “spectacular” thesis from his work. After some time at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, he accepted an assistant professorship at Harvard University, where he is today.
Cynthia J. Burrows was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of two children. When she was in ninth grade the family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where later her high school chemistry class made beer that eventually exploded all over the classroom. That was her first clue that she wanted to be a chemist. She attended the University of Colorado and spent her junior year at the University of Edinburgh taking courses from Evelyn A. V. Ebsworth. In her senior year she entered Stanley Cristol's lab, working on Stern-Volmer plots. Next she spent four months as balloon technician on Ascension Island, returning to Cristol's lab for the remainder of the year. Burrows entered Cornell University's PhD program, where she became intrigued by Barry Carpenter's class and by reaction mechanisms. For a postdoc she went to the lab of Jean-Marie Lehn in Strasbourg, France. She went on to positions at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and then the University of Utah, universities in which she was the only woman in her departments. Burrows discusses at length women in chemistry and the changes she has seen during her career; support and mentoring from her friends and colleagues in COACh and more informal groups; her sabbatical in Okazaki, Japan; being mentored by John Osborn and mentoring her own students; and about how to interest more young women and men in science by teaching more science earlier.
Gordon A. Cain received his undergraduate education at Louisiana State University during the Great Depression. After graduation, his first jobs were in the chemical industry, during which he applied for and received first patents. Cain enlisted during World War II as a captain and served in the Pacific with an Army heavy mortar company. After the war he worked in scientific intelligence in Germany. Returning to the United States, Cain shifted the direction of his career away from chemical engineering and into management, consulting and ownership of various chemical and high technology concerns (Cain was the head of Vista, Cain Chemical, and the Sterling Group).
Vincent Calarco was an ambitious and hard-working student who enjoyed chemistry and had a firm desire to attend college. After graduation from New York High School, Calarco attended Polytechnic University of New York, receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1963. While excelling in the intense environment at Polytechnic University, Calarco worked as a draftsman for Syska and Hennessey during the summers. In the summer of 1962, he accepted an internship at Proctor & Gamble's Port Ivory facility on Staten Island. From 1966 to 1968, Calarco served in the U. S. Army at the Ballistics Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland. In 1979, he became President of Uniroyal at the age of thirty-six. He set high-standards for employees at Uniroyal and enjoyed the challenges of his position. In 1985 Calarco left Uniroyal and became the CEO of Crompton & Knowles (Crompton Corporation).
Andrew Camilli was born in Lima, Ohio. After a brief foray into computer science, he attended University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, to study biology and medical microbiology. There he had the opportunity to work with Robert B. Helling and Julian Adams. He attended Washington University for grad school, rotating through Daniel A. Portnoy's, William L. Goldwin's, and Roy Curtiss III's laboratories. When Portnoy left for University of Pennsylvania, Camilli followed to complete his doctoral work on the genes for virulence factors in Listeria monocytogenes. After a postdoc, he accepted a position at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he focused his lab on genetic expression in Vibrio cholerae and gene regulation in Streptococcus pneumonia. He discusses his changing roles in the laboratory, teaching responsibilities, management style, and more.
Chavela M. Carr grew up near Indianapolis, Indiana in a large family. She attended Vanderbilt University, studying German, earning Phi Beta Kappa, and remaining involved in choir and musical theatre. Carr worked with Douglas R. Cavener on Drosophila genetics, a research laboratory experience that differed in distinct ways from her general science laboratory courses. She attended MIT for graduate work in biology and soon joined the laboratory of Peter S. Kim (Pew Scholar Class of 1990), working on protein-protein interactions and coiled coils. In 1993 Carr published a Cell paper on the spring-loaded mechanism of conformational change in flu-virus--a paper which merited news releases in the New York Times and Washington Post . After completing her PhD, Carr moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to join Peter J. Novick's laboratory at Yale University. Upon receiving a position at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Carr began her research group and soon received the Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Science Award.
For more information on Nancy Carrasco, 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.
Michael C. Carroll began his career in banking, but was soon bored by the work. He entered Southern Methodist University as an undergraduate, continuing there for a master’s degree and becoming interested in immunology. He obtained his PhD from University of Texas Health Science Center, under advisor Donald Capra, where he began his interest in Complement C4. He moved to University of Oxford to work with Rodney Porter as a post-doctoral fellow where he cloned C4. He then accepted an appointment in Boston Children’s Hospital and is now a professor in Harvard Medical School.
Dennis A. Carson graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1962, where he had devoted himself to the school's science-based curriculum. After receiving a BA in history from Haverford College, he earned in MD from Columbia University. He then worked for labs at the National Institute of Health, the University of California, San Diego, and the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. While at Scripps, Carson co-founded Vical a biotech company that develops DNA vaccines. He also founded other drug-development companies such as Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Dynamax Inc., and Salmedix. In 1990, he became director of UCSD's Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging. He left in 2003 to head Moores UCSD Cancer Research Center, where he has two drugs in development.
Richard W. Carthew was born in Toronto, Canada. He attended Queen's University for ecology and worked for Seward R. Brown. His thesis work was laboratory based, resulting in a publication on the thermodynamics of photosynthetic adaptation to photon fluence rate in the cyanophyte. He became a research technician for Jack F. Greenblatt at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and contributed to work isolating three proteins that bind to RNA polymerase II. He attended Massachusetts of Technology for graduate school, where he develop an interest in neurobiology and decided on a postdoctoral fellowship with Gerald M. Rubin at the University of California, Berkeley. From there he accepted a position at University of Pittsburgh, where he studied ras oncogene, which led to consulting work for the Chiron Corporation.
Michael A. Caudy was born in Columbus, Ohio. When he was in high school, he worked as a technician in the veterinary pathology lab at Ohio State University, and later attended university there. He received a degree in English education and taught elementary and junior high school for a number of years while maintaining an interest in science, leading him to enter the biophysics graduate program at Ohio State. After a year, he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, to David Bentley's lab, to study theoretical biophysics and neurobiology. He then accepted a position at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he works today, researching mammalian and Drosophila genetics. He discusses the college's atmosphere, pressures on medical schools, his research agenda, and his lab.
For more information on Richard Cerione, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.
Andrew C. Chan was born in Hong Kong, but his family emigrated to the United States when he was young. Encouraged by two teachers, he attended Northwestern University, entering with sophomore standing at age sixteen. He attributes his interest in research to his professor, Joseph Lambert, but also wanted to be a doctor, so he applied to the MD/PhD program at Washington University School of Medicine, where he did research on protein processing in John Atkinson's laboratory. After finishing his fellowship he moved up the ranks to attending physician at University of California, San Francisco. Today he is principal investigator at Washington University School of Medicine and attending physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Chan discusses parental expectations, teaching, lab management, research, and more.
Edwin R. Chapman grew up in Bellingham, Washington, the youngest of four children. From an early age Chapman was interested in science, especially chemistry. After graduating from the Bellingham public schools, he applied to his hometown college, Western Washington University. He discovered there the joys of academics in an organic chemistry class taught by Donald Pavia, whom he considers the best lecturer he has ever encountered; he credits Dr. Pavia, and other lecturers from this period, for setting the stage for graduate studies. After obtaining his bachelors degree, Chapman spent two years as a lab technician, designing HIV assays at Genetic Systems in Seattle. After this experience, he then went to graduate school. Fascinated by the workings of the brain, he decided to work with Dan Storm in the department of pharmacology. Wanting to continue his neuroscience studies, he accepted a Howard Hughes Medical Institute award for a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale in the lab of Reinhard Jahn. After four years Chapman accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is now a full professor. He discusses his funding history and explains how he set up and manages his lab. He goes on to talk about funding in general; writing grants; peer review system; his professional duties; his current research on synaptic transmission, membrane fusion, and neurotoxins; tenure; teaching and travel commitments; educating people in science.
Sally Chapman's interest in science was fostered both by her tinkerer" father and by the nationwide interest in innovative science education that occurred after Sputnik. She attended Smith College and worked for the Quaker Chemical Corporation, where she assisted technicians and experienced basic, day-to-day activities in a lab. Realizing she was not ready for graduate school as she completed undergraduate work at Smith, Chapman became a computer programmer at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York. After her stint in New York, she pursued graduate school, choosing Yale University, where she worked with Raymond Suplinskas on Hot Atom Chemistry. After two postdoctoral positions, Chapman accepted a position at Barnard College. During the interview Chapman talked about her work in the community of women in chemistry, which has included the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), advising and mentoring students, and various other activities.
Maureen J. Charron was the first in her family to go to college (she attended Queens College in New York City), first wanting to be a doctor, but soon finding she liked research better. She joined the lab of Corinne Michels, where she worked on maltose fermentation genes of yeast for beer; eventually she developed this into her diabetes research. Next, she took a postdoc at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where she worked with Harvey Lodish, studying glucose transporters. She is now a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, an institution she chose based on its founding commitment not to discriminate against women, its diabetes lab, and location. She discusses difficulties women have in science, tenure, grant writing, competition and collaboration, and more.
Gordon Chase grew up in London, England. He worked for Shell International Petroleum Company and then smaller companies, trading oil and petrochemical products, until he retired to travel. A visit to Kathmandu, Nepal, inspired an interest in pollution control, and he obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in environmental studies and diploma in pollution control from The Open University. Chase met his wife in Boston, Massachusetts, and the couple moved to Ambler, Pennsylvania, to be near her parents. Chase joined the BoRit community advisory group (CAG), is now chair of the Removal, Remediation, and Monitoring workgroup, and was later elected as co-chair of the CAG. Chase acknowledges a tension between private and public interests as represented by the differing opinions among members of the CAG, but he regards Ambler's reticence to confront its asbestos as a malaise" reflecting a general "malaise" in much of the United States on issues ranging from liquor sales to power lines to derelict buildings to infrastructure repairs. He feels that communication between the CAG and EPA is generally good. Chase has a positive view of Ambler in that its citizens fight hard for what they want. Chase believes that asbestos is now a problem of industrial blight as well as a health hazard. Chase has found some government agencies better than others, but acknowledges that they all have limitations and requirements prescribed by law.
Cheng-Ming Chiang was born and raised in Taiwan. For undergrad, he joined what he considered the best department at National Taiwan University, Agricultural Chemistry. There, he learned biochemical and cell biological techniques in labs, including column chromatography, sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and mammalian cell culture. After his military service, he spent one year as a lab technician studying human papillomavirus. When he matriculated at University of Rochester, he continued this research, specifically performing molecular biology mapping through RNA splicing of variants by retrovirus-mediated gene transfer in human papillomavirus type 11. His thesis won the best thesis award for the entire medical school. He is now at Case Western Reserve University, researching the biochemical aspects of human papillomavirus gene regulation.
Arul M. Chinnaiyan was born near Cleveland, Ohio, but spent his first years in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, the elder of two sons whose parents came from India. Chinnaiyan decided to attend the University of Michigan, working in Stephen Weiss's lab during summers and part time during the school year on proteases in neutrophils. He entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at University of Michigan to obtain an MD/PhD and eventually joined Vishva Dixit's lab to study apoptosis. From his research came the discovery of FADD, as well as twenty-one publications. After three years of research, Peter Ward persuaded him to complete his residency in clinical pathology at the University of Michigan. He established his lab and became interested in studying biomarkers for prostate cancer. He started a DNA microarray facility too. Chinnaiyan remained at Michigan as an assistant professor in pathology and urology and established the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology.