Charles K. Barlowe

Born: July 3, 1961 | Richmond, VA, US
Photograph of Charles K. Barlowe

Charles K. Barlowe was raised in Saluda, Virginia. Following in his family's footsteps, Barlowe attended the College of William and Mary for undergrad, where he studied chemistry. He worked with Gary C. DeFotis, analyzing crystal complexes by x-ray diffraction method and measuring their ferromagnetic properties with large magnets. Barlowe next received a position with I. David Goldman in the Hematology/Oncology department of the Medical College of Virginia, where he worked on antifolate polyglutamylation and competitive drug displacement at dihydrofolate reductase as important elements in leucovorin rescue. While receiving his doctorate at the University of Texas, he studied with Dean R. Appling and continued research on tetrahydrofolate enzymology. After a postdoc with Randy Schekman at the University of California Berkeley, family and professional considerations led him to accept a faculty position at Dartmouth Medical School, where he now has his lab. 

The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.

Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0458
No. of pages: 79
Minutes: 307

Interview Sessions

Andrea R. Maestrejuan
7-9 October 2002
Dartmouth Medical College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Abstract of Interview

Charles K. Barlowe was raised during the time of desegregation in Saluda, Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay, the youngest of three children. His father was a World War II veteran who used the G. I. Bill to become, ultimately, a dentist; his mother received her degree in history from the College of William and Mary, and became a school librarian once her children were in school. Barlowe started in public schools, but eventually transferred to private schools due to overcrowded classrooms and better educational opportunities. His education and childhood were, according to him, quite typical. Following in his family's footsteps, Barlowe enrolled in the College of William and Mary for his undergraduate education, where he decided to pursue his interest in chemistry. He worked with Gary C. DeFotis, a physical chemist who studied transition metals, analyzing crystal complexes by an x-ray diffraction method and then measuring their ferromagnetic properties with large magnets. Unsure of what path he wanted to follow for a career, after college Barlowe applied for and received a laboratory position with I. David Goldman in the Hematology/Oncology department of the Medical College of Virginia where he worked on antifolate polyglutamylation and competitive drug displacement at dihydrofolate reductase as important elements in leucovorin rescue. After his experiences at the Medical College of Virginia he decided to apply to, and was accepted at, the University of Texas. He studied with Dean R. Appling on folic acid metabolism in yeast for his doctoral work and then moved on to Randy Schekman's laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley for postdoctoral research on transport vesicle formation in membrane trafficking. Family and professional considerations led him to accept a faculty position at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. The interview ends with a discussion of setting up his laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School, the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant on his work, and his current research on mechanisms of COPII-dependent transport. In addition, he talks about scientific funding in the United States, his wife's career, balancing family life with work commitments, and the role of the scientist in society. 

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1983 College of William and Mary Chemistry BS
1990 University of Texas at Austin PhD Biochemistry

Professional Experience

University of California, Berkeley

1990 to 1994
Randy Schekman Laboratory, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Dartmouth Medical School

1994 to 1999
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry
1999 to 2003
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry

Honors

Year(s) Award
1989

University of Texas Continuing Fellowship

1990

Eakin Biochemistry Award, University of Texas

1990 to 1993

Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Fellow

1996 to 2000

Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Table of Contents

Early Years
1

Family background. Parents. Siblings. Growing up in Saluda, Virginia. Early Schooling. Attends Christ Church School, a private Episcopal high school. Childhood experiences. Parental expectations. Influential mathematics teacher. Interests. Extracurricular activities. Religion.

College Years
21

Attends the College of William and Mary. More on high school experiences. Majors in chemistry. Interest in science. Undergraduate research in Gary C. DeFotis's laboratory. Work as a technician in I. David Goldman's laboratory at the Medical College of Virginia studying the cellular metabolism of methotrexate.

Graduate School and Postdoctoral Years
35

Attends graduate school at the University of Texas. Pursues research in biochemistry in Dean R. Appling's laboratory. Scientific fields and nomenclature. Doctoral research on folic acid metabolism in yeast. Postdoctoral fellowship in Randy Schekman's laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. The Dean R. Appling laboratory at the University of Texas. Reasons for working incell biology. Research on transport vesicle formation in membrane trafficking.

Faculty Years
57

Accepts position at Dartmouth Medical School. Funding history. Setting up his laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School. Impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Current research on mechanisms of COPII-dependent transport. Future research plans identifying and characterizing vesicletransport proteins. Tenure at Dartmouth Medical School.

Final Thoughts
67

Gender issues in science. Wife's career. Balancing family and career. Gender issues in science. Lab management style. Diversity in his laboratory. The role of the scientist in the community. More on the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.

Index
76

About the Interviewer

Andrea R. Maestrejuan