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 family background, his early interest in chemistry and his experiences assisting junior high and high school science teachers. He also mentions the impact of Caltech on his interest in chemistry. He then describes his undergraduate years at UCLA, which included a great deal of research and teaching experience. After a brief period at Penn State, Roberts returned to UCLA for graduate school and continued research. He then went to Harvard on a National Research Council Fellowship. After describing much of his research, he concludes by expressing a bit of guilt for leaving MIT when he did, but he also remembers his excitement in accepting a position at Caltech, to which it seems he had always aspired.
Ivan Maxwell Robinson discusses his upbringing in Nova Scotia. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Acadia University, a master's degree from the University of Toronto, and his PhD from Purdue University. Robinson led a successful career at DuPont as both a research chemist and a supervisor, credited 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 had 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 US Navy as General Counsel and Contract Administrator, and his appointment as president of the Chemical Manufacturers Association. 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 (CIEBP homologous protein), which can be a marker of endoplasmic reticulum stresses, 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.
Sol Rosenblatt grew up in Brooklyn, New York, one of two children. Rosenblatt attended public schools and had a small chemistry lab in his basement. Despite the Depression, he was able to remain in school and attended City College of New York. Rosenblatt’s first job was with the City of New York, then worked for Heyden Newport Corporation; he met his wife, Vicky, during this time. The Rosenblatts moved to Sacramento, California, where at first Rosenblatt helped design his chemical lab facilities and began work on Polaris missile propellants. Moving back to the East Coast, Rosenblatt next took a job with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company. Upon leaving Pratt, Rosenblatt received equity in Chemplasts Corporation, where his membrane technology for chemical filtration was developed. Next, he started Polytech Company, but faced hardships. Continuing his interest in the medical field, Rosenblatt developed semipermeable membranes for heart-lung machines. He then worked for Electro-Catheter Corporation developing and marketing diagnostic catheters. When he saw an opportunity, Rosenblatt developed a lint-free sponge based as a substitute for surgical cotton and co-founded Merocel. Thirty years later, Merocel is still used for many medical applications. Rosenblatt continues to invent and develop health care products.
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 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.
For more information on Christopher A. Ross, 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.
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 US Environmental Protection Agency. He spent six years as an oil inspector and then became an on-scene coordinator 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. Their justification was that there were both visible and hidden asbestos-containing materials 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.
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.
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.
Ariel Ruiz i Altaba was born in Mexico City, but raised in Spain. From an early age he was interested in science and nature. 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 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.
Pouné Saberi was born in Tehran, Iran, and experienced the 1979 Iranian Revolution as a child. Her family left Iran in the mid-1980s during its war with Iraq and settled briefly in Boston. Pouné’s parents and younger sister returned to Iran in 1989, but Pouné stayed to graduate from Commonwealth High School and attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1999 she earned her MD and a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University School of Medicine, where she helped found Sharewood, a free medical clinic. Pouné then moved to Philadelphia where in 2002 she completed her residency in family medicine and community health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Pouné later became the primary care provider at a federally qualified health-care facility at Sayer High School in West Philadelphia. In 2012, after increased concern about environmental toxins, she completed a second residency in occupational and environmental medicine. Pouné now works in Philadelphia as an occupational medicine doctor and serves on the national and Philadelphia board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, with whom she works on projects related to health and natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale regions of Pennsylvania.
Whitson Sadler, who was born in Bristol, Tennessee, discusses his early life in various places due to his father's work relocations, eventually earning a degree in economics at Sewanee, the University of the South, and then enlisting in the US Navy. After his service, Sadler graduated from the Harvard Business School, and began to work at Lazard Frères & Co. but ultimately left to become vice chairman and CEO of Solvay America. Sadler figured prominently in the Soltex Polymer Corporation board and the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and Solvay America prospered under his leadership before he retired.
For more information on Nina Salama, 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.
Stephen R. J. Salton was born in Cambridge, England and grew up in New Jersey. During high school, he spent a summer in the Joel Oppenheim and Martin Nachbar labs at New York University. Salton entered the University of Pennsylvania, where he found biochemistry courses exciting, then entered New York University's MD/PhD program. There, he did research in pharmacology under Michael Shelanski and Lloyd Greene, making antibodies for work on PC12 cell surface glycoprotein response to nerve growth factor v (NGF) treatments. He grew interested in the evolution of molecular biology techniques into a widely accessible tool that can decrease the tedium of large-scale DNA analysis. He discusses the role of small labs, publishing, and funding, as well as Mount Sinai Medical School, where he now works.
Yolanda Sanchez's interest in science began in high school, doing some research on Achyla recurva. Sanchez attended University of Texas at El Paso and was awarded a Minority Access to Research Careers grant. She worked on tumor suppressor genes and became interested in cell cycle and DNA repair. She chose Ann Killary’s lab at the University of Texas at San Antonio, moving with Killary to the University of Texas at Houston, where she worked on microcell-mediated chromosome transfer. For her postdoc Sanchez went to at Baylor University to work on the cell cycle in yeast. She published three papers there, including a Science paper on Rad53 kinase, and found Chk1 in yeast and humans. Sanchez discusses her Pew Scholars application topic and benefits of winning the prize. She describes her experiences with education of laymen, including the politics often involved in that education. She discusses balancing home life with work life, advocating for government-mandated and government-provided child care. Sanchez concludes her interview with a call for ethics classes and a greater emphasis on ethics in the practice of science.
Mark A. Saper was born in New York City. As a child he was interested in math and biology, writing an exceptional paper on protein biosynthesis. Saper attended the University of Connecticut, spending summers working at his uncle's engineering firm and Janos Varga's laboratory. His advisor was a professor of biophysics who steered him into chemistry; organic chemistry sparked his interest in biology. While at graduate school at Rice University, he studied the structure of sterols in Florante Quiocho's lab, until a Weizmann fellowship sent him to Israel. There and in Germany he worked on ribosomal crystallography. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, teaching and working on the structure of protein tyrosine phosphatases and protein secretion in Yersinia.
Lewis Sarett begins his oral history interview by telling of his early life in Wisconsin and Illinois, the influence of his father, and some of his experience in college and graduate school. He then turns to his first assignment at Merck: the synthesis of cortisone. This is followed by a discussion of the efforts to discover a use for cortisone, the development of an economically viable synthesis of cortisone, and finally, the efforts to supply cortisone for public use. The next section of the interview deals with his movement into managerial positions, and this is followed by a discussion of a number of drugs developed under his direction, including Decadron, Amprol, Thibenzol, Indocin, Dolobid, and Clinoril. Interspersed in the interview are comments on the Merck organization and on the various presidents, research directors, and colleagues with whom he worked. A significant section deals with his accomplishments as President of Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories and as Vice President for Science and Technology.
In this interview John Schaefgen begins with his family history and early life in Gross Point, Illinois. He then discusses the development of his interest in science, and describes his education, including his professors and fellow students at Northwestern University and Ohio State University. In the central portion of the interview, Schaefgen considers his association with Paul Flory at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and recalls his move to the Pioneering Research Laboratory at Du Pont. He then describes his interests and accomplishments in polymer chemistry. The interview concludes with a discussion of his colleagues, professional society activities, and views on the characteristics of innovative research.
For more information on Richard H. Scheller, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.
Harold Scheraga recalls his childhood in Monticello, New York, and then in Brooklyn, where he attended Brooklyn Boys High School. Scheraga decided to concentrate on chemistry when he began attending the City College of New York. He was offered a graduate position at Duke University, where the chemistry department was chaired by Paul Gross. Along with his graduate research on the Kerr effect, Scheraga contributed to the wartime projects on the frangible bullet and on gas-phase halogenation. After a postdoctoral year at Harvard, he was appointed as an instructor in the chemistry department at Cornell, where he has spent the rest of his career, including a period as chairman. During the 1970s, he was also a visiting professor at the Weizmann Institute. Scheraga describes the development of his research activities including the hydrodynamic properties of polymer solutions, which then led to his extensive work on protein structure and function. International collaboration has always been important to Scheraga, and he details his sabbaticals at the Carlsberg laboratory and his later association with the Weizmann Institute.
Thomas F. Schilling was born in Richmond, Virginia. He matriculated into Davidson College, majoring in biology. A class in physiological psychology led to an interest in neuroscience. Schilling entered the PhD program in the University of Michigan biology department, joining the laboratory of R. Glenn Northcutt to study the neuroanatomy of the visual system. Northcutt's departure, combined with a developing interest in zebrafish, led Schilling to apply to the PhD program at the University of Oregon. There, he worked in the lab of Charles Kimmel and made neural crest lineages in zebrafish his dissertation topic. Schilling accepted a postdoc at Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, England, where he entered Philip Ingham's lab to study Drosophila and to help set up a zebrafish lab. Soon after his arrival, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard asked Schilling to work at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany, on craniofacial anomalies in zebrafish. After some time in Germany, he returned to London, where he rediscovered his interest in neural crest, but also discovered a mutation in the enzyme that synthesizes retinoic acid (RA), and RA became the second major focus of his lab. He then accepted an assistant professorship at University of California, Irvine. Schilling discusses funding in general, and the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant; compares the Wellcome grant with National Institutes of Health and other American grants; and reflects on benchwork, on his mentoring style, and on the necessity of informing the public about scientific endeavors.
Warren G. Schlinger begins his oral history interview by tracing his family heritage and discussing his introduction to chemistry: a Gilbert Chemistry Set owned by a friend. While a young man, Schlinger began to attend public lectures at California Institute of Technology where he eventually was accepted and completed his education, earning a doctorate in mechanical and chemical engineering. Schlinger spent the entirety of his career at the Texaco research lab in Montebello, California. Schlinger recollects the history of Texaco. He shares aspects of his private life--stories of meeting his wife Katharine, the successes of their three children, and the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Foundation that the Schlinger family established and manages.
Helga Schmid begins her oral history interview by discussing her interest in information sciences. After studying mathematics and physics at the Vienna University, she relocated to Belgium and she began training to be a computer programmer. In 1969 she joined the International Atomic Energy Agency. While there Schmid helped publish the first International Nuclear Information System Atomindex. In 1975, she moved on to the International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology (AGRIS). In 2000, she retired, after rising through the organization to become the head of AGRIS Processing. Schmid concludes the interview by discussing briefly her knowledge of AGRIS in its present state and sharing some of the positive experiences she had throughout her career as a computer analyst.
This work tells the story of Hubert Schoemaker’s life. More than sixty friends, family members, and colleagues were interviewed about their interactions with Hubert, and snippets of their recollections have been combined to create a narrative that describes Hubert’s life from his birth in 1950 until his passing in 2006.
Hubert Jacob Paul Schoemaker (March 1950–January 2006) was one of the first generation of biotechnology entrepreneurs. He was a cofounder of Centocor (established in 1979), the first company successfully to commercialize monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic purposes, and the founder of Neuronyx (established in 1999), the first company to manufacture stem cells on a large scale and thereby enable the development of stem-cell therapeutics. Hubert’s vision, mentorship, and guidance were instrumental in building a biotechnology community not only in southeastern Pennsylvania, but also nationally and internationally.
Herman Schroeder starts by discussing his family background and growing up in Brooklyn. After an early graduation he entered Harvard and set his mind on chemistry, in part influenced by his tutor, John Edsall. Staying on at Harvard for graduate study in the physical aspects of organic chemistry, Schroeder investigated the rates and mechanism of large ring closure. Arriving at the Du Pont Experimental Station in 1938, Schroeder conducted important wartime research on tire cord adhesives. Transferring to the Jackson Laboratories, he worked on both dyestuff synthesis and the mechanisms of dyeing synthetic fibers, as well as obtaining experience in production control. Moving to greater research responsibilities, Schroeder played an important role in the development of several polymers. The interview concludes with some of Schroeder's retirement activities and a full account of the Louisville plant explosion.
Claire K. Schultz begins by discussing her childhood in south central Pennsylvania. Inspired by her grandmother's belief in her abilities, Schultz graduated from Juniata College in three years, and went on to medical school after a year of work in the Philadelphia State Hospital. Forced to leave medical school by the birth of her first child, Schultz went on to a job as a research assistant at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, and then to Merck Sharp & Dohme, where she first became interested in information retrieval. Schultz campaigned to get an IBM 101 system. Schultz wrote her master's thesis at Drexel University in Library Science on the MSD library system. As one of the pioneer documentalists, Schultz worked at Sperry Rand Univac Corporation, and later at the Institute for the Advancement of Medical Communication. Schultz closes her interview with anecdotes about her post-retirement hobbies, and her work as a computer consultant in a local elementary school.
Erin M. Schuman was born in San Gabriel, California. She attended University of Southern California, initially interested in law. She switched to psychology and completed an an honors thesis with Laura Baker studying memory in twins. She decided to attend graduate school at Princeton because of Joseph Farley's work on learning in memory using invertebrate systems. She followed Farley to Indiana University, but returned to Princeton to complete her thesis. She then accepted a postdoctoral position at the Daniel V. Madison laboratory at Stanford studying long-term neuronal potentiation, culminating in a series of papers on synaptic transmission (two of which appeared in Science). Schuman then accepted a position at California Institute of Technology, studying decentralized production of proteins at the dendrites and synaptic feedback mechanisms and cadherins.
Glenn E. Schweitzer began his career as a Foreign Service Officer, moved to the staff of the Vice President’s Marine Science and Technology Council, and finally accepted a position at the US Agency for International Development. He was then asked to manage the new Office of Toxic Substances in the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1974. He had four tasks: to ensure that the Toxic Substances Control Act passed quickly; to deal with the “chemical of the month;” to help the Office of Air and Water deal with toxic chemicals under the their legislative authorities—the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act; and to upgrade data, especially testing data, being used throughout EPA. His concern now is that great efforts will devoted to amending TSCA, primarily for the sake of amending the law, with little likelihood of success, whereas other measures are available to use more effectively the law as written.
Miguel C. Seabra grew up in Lisbon, Portugal. His father had a great influence on his decision to enter medical school, where he worked under Fernanda Mesquita. Soon after, he was accepted into the doctoral program at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He had trouble with lectures in English and suffered quite a bit of culture shock and homesickness at first. In Joseph Goldstein's lab, he continued his research on cell cholesterol metabolism, helped purify the geranylgeranyltransferase enzyme, and published a paper in Cell. Eventually, Seabra moved to the Imperial College School of Medicine in London. He compares scientific collaboration in the US and England, explains his research on prenylation of Rab proteins, and talks about the support he has received to cure choroideremia.
Nadrian C. Seeman grew up in Highland Park, Illinois. He obtained his PhD in crystallography from the University of Pittsburgh; then took a postdoc at Columbia University, working with Cyrus Levinthal, and a second postdoc in Alexander Rich's lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rich discovered hybridization, which is the basis of all of Seeman's DNA nanotechnology work. Seeman began his professional career in the biology department at State University of New York at Albany. When Neville Kallenbach left the University of Pennsylvania to become chairman of the chemistry department at New York University, he recruited Seeman to join the NYU faculty. Seeman was influenced by the Escher print Depth to develop both three-dimensional (cube-like and similar) lattices of DNA, a process requiring branched DNA and sticky ends. As a result he is often referred to as the father of DNA nanotechnology. (He says he is sometimes called the father of single-stranded synthetic DNA topology because he recognized that DNA is the ideal synthetic topological component. ) He founded the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation, and Engineering (ISNSCE). He feels that other applications of his work include nanoelectronics and a way to look at what happens in living systems on the molecular scale by using DNA crystals to scaffold biomacromolecules to establish their structures and interactions with other species. Seeman shared the 2010 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience from the Norwegian Academy of Sciences with Donald Eigler for their development of unprecedented methods to control matter on the nanoscale. " Seeman founded the field, but there are now more than a hundred groups worldwide in DNA nanotechnology. Seeman's current work deals with extending the crystallographic aspects of his DNA constructs, as well as automatic molecular weaving.
Harry Sello discusses his childhood, which included emigration from Russia. Sello became interested in chemistry and completed undergraduate work in organic chemistry before applying this knowledge to his PhD research at the University of Missouri. William Shockley recruited him to Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. At Shockley and then at Fairchild Semiconductor, Sello worked on a variety of chemical aspects of semiconductor manufacturing. Sello concentrated on the transfer of silicon transistor technology to Societa Generale Semiconduttore in Italy, negotiating cultural and industrial boundaries. In 1980, he began Harry Sello Associates after Fairchild Semiconductor was sold to Schlumberger Exploration. Sello concludes the interview with reflections on his current role as an expert witness.
Charles N. Serhan grew up in Brooklyn and did his undergraduate work at State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he studied biochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Michael Heidelberger persuaded Serhan to go to graduate school at New York University and to work in the lab of Gerald Weissmann, where his interest in the role of neutrophils in inflammation led to Serhan's doctoral research. After finishing his PhD, Serhan became a visiting scientist at the Karolinska Institute. He collaborated with James L. Madarain studying white cells' interaction with epithelial cells, trying to accelerate healing. He studied lipoxins in trout and describes the accidental discovery of trout lipoxin. Serhan says that today's scientists lead pressured lives, and should not be evaluated by grants they receive or laboratory size.
William C. Sha grew up in Chicago. His father and mother worked at the Argonne National Laboratory. During high school, he published with Ejup N. Ganic, later President of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While studying at the University of Chicago, he worked at Argonne National Laboratory with Ely M. Gelbard, a formative experience that convinced him to enter an MD/PhD program. He attended Washington University, where he studied immunology with Dennis Y. Loh before accepting a postdoc with David Baltimore at Rockefeller University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sha then accepted a position at the University of California, Berkeley. He conducts immunology research on the role of costimulatory molecules in regulating the immune response and on B- and T lymphocyte cell interactions.
Irving Shapiro begins by discussing his parents' backgrounds and the influence of his father's interest in law and accounting. He describes the path which took him from a private practice in Minneapolis, to the US Office of Price Administration during WWII, to the US Department of Justice's Criminal Division, where his highly publicized work prosecuting eleven Communists brought him to the attention of the DuPont legal department. Shapiro recalls how his appointment as a DuPont General Counsel heralded a new era for the company in terms of its attitude toward Jews. In considering his advancement to CEO, Shapiro emphasizes his relationships with Walter Carpenter, Crawford Greenewalt, and Charles McCoy, as well as his work with the industrial departments and in disputes involving General Motors, Ford Motors, and Ralph Nader. Shapiro explains how his management and communication practices impacted on public and internal views of DuPont and allowed talented employees to blossom. Finally, Shapiro describes his post-DuPont work.