Ralph C. Budd
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Ralph C. Budd grew up in Middletown, New York, in a close and happy family that included his parents and an older brother. He attended public schools, where he had good teachers who fostered his early interest and ability in science and mathematics. He attended MIT for his freshman year of college, but found it too intense; he transferred to Cornell University, which he very much preferred for academic reasons and because it is in a rural setting. There he continued studying the organ and sang in the University choir, where he met his future wife, Lenore Fritz. While Lenore was still an undergraduate Budd began medical school at Cornell University Medical School in New York City; they married and lived the commuter life for the remaining two years. During his residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Budd decided to specialize in rheumatology because it offered insight into many diseases and failings of the human body. He then began postdoctoral work in Kendall A. Smith’s lab at Dartmouth College, where he found his medical practice and his research influencing each other, a pattern he continues to maintain. He went to Lausanne, Switzerland, to study T lymphocyte development in lymphoproliferative mice at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He returned to Stanford University to study immunology in C. Garrison Fathman’s lab. He was heavily courted by Genentech and worked there for a year, until market forces forced cutbacks. From the West Coast he went to University of Vermont, where he continues to teach, mentor, review articles and papers, and do research. He believes that basic science is crucial, that attempting to direct results is counterproductive; but he is very interested in potential therapeutic applications of his research; viz. his research into lpr mice might provide help for lupus sufferers; and he thinks that fas gene studies have potential for sufferers of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. He and Lenore have a son, Graham, who is ten years old; and a daughter, Laura, who is five years old. The family likes to engage in various outdoor activities and sports. Budd enjoys wine and espresso; he loves classical music, and plays the organ when he can find time.
|1977||Weill Cornell Medical College||MD|
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Tompkins Community Hosptial
Karolinska Institute, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
Stanford University School of Medicine
University of Vermont
|1974 to 1977||
Joseph Collins Foundation Scholar, Cornell University Medical College
|1983 to 1986||
Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
|1989 to 1992||
RJR Nabisco Research Scholars Award in Immunology
|1990 to 1994||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
|1991 to 1994||
Arthritis Foundation Biomedical Science Grant
Table of Contents
Childhood interests and education. Early interest in science. Choosing a college and career. Freshman year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Transfer to Cornell University. Considering medicine as a career.
Undergraduate lab work. Favorite Cornell professors G. Marc Loudon, Gottfried Schatz, and Thomas Eisner. Meeting future wife, Lenore Fritz. Learning to play organ; singing in Sage Choir.
Acceptance into Cornell University Medical College. Marriage to Lenore Fritz Budd. Decision to practice internal medicine. Edward D. Harris Jr. introduces Budd to rheumatology during residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Stint as a practicing physician.
Postdoc in Kendall A. Smith's lab at Dartmouth College. IL 2 antibody research. Postdoctoral work at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. T lymphocyte development in lpr mice. Move to C. Garrison Fathman's lab at Stanford University.
Accepts position at Genentech. Financial crisis at Genentech causes Budd to Leave. Securing early tenure at the University of Vermont (UVM). Teaching responsibilities at UVM. Setting up a lab. Budd's work schedule.
Current collaborations. Protocols for people leaving or joining the lab. Animal research. Fas molecule signaling and other foci of Budd's current lpr mouse research. Potential therapeutic applications of fas gene studies. Building team spirit in the lab. Funding at the Ludwig Institute compared to that at UVM. Personalities of past mentors. Henry A. Erlich. Carving a research niche upon departure from Lausanne. Budd's current research on the regulatory role of γδ cells--Difficulties of being a physician-scientist. Importance of physiology in molecular biology. Uneven pace of scientific advances. Using T cell receptors as probes to screen peptide libraries. Peer review system. Importance of basic research. Reviewing for journals and other professional demands on Budd's time. Grant-writing treadmill. Possible approaches to increasing funding for scientific research. Controversy over genetic engineering.