The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Lynn Cooley grew up in Portland, Connecticut, the middle child of five. Her father was in aeronautical engineering and her mother in physics, so she had a very early introduction, if not a genetic predisposition, to science. In high school she liked chemistry and mathematics courses best and finished all of those available by the end of her junior year. In consultation with her guidance counselor, she decided to graduate in only three years and to start college. Cooley matriculated into Connecticut College, where she majored in zoology. In college she discovered modern dance. She also took a semester off to take a course at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, which led to her participation on a research cruise. During a later summer course at Woods Hole Cooley discovered biochemistry and immediately decided that was what she wanted to do. She applied to graduate schools, entering the University of Texas, where she persuaded Kwan Wang to take her into his lab to work on cytoskeletal proteins. She continued her dancing as well, using it often as a release from growing tension in Wang's lab. Eventually she decided to leave the university after completing her master's degree, at which point she worked as a lab technician for Joanne Ravel and performed with a modern dance company. Wanting to return to the East Coast, she transferred to Dieter Söll's lab at Yale University, where he later suggested she complete her PhD at the University of Texas while conducting research in his lab. Cooley then accepted a postdoc appointment in Allan Spradling's lab at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, Maryland, where she began researching the regulation of expression in follicle cells. She also developed a focus on the kelch and chickadee genes. This research continued when Cooley started her own lab at the Yale School of Medicine, in conjunction with students Feiyu Xue and Esther Verheyen. The lab's research divided into two components: genes related to the function of ring canals and genes related to the regulation of actin in nurse cells. In the meantime, Cooley earned a pilot's license and married her husband, Ted Killiam, with whom she has a daughter. Cooley discusses the scientific and academic issues she finds critical, including cutbacks in science funding, the impact of molecular techniques on developmental biology, the need to improve the public's understanding of basic research, and shifting trends in funding. She concludes the interview by expressing her satisfaction with her career.
|1979||University of Texas at Austin||MA|
|1984||University of Texas at Austin||PhD|
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Yale University School of Medicine
E. Frances Botsford Prize in Zoology
|1984 to 1986||
Runyon-Winchell Fellow, Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation
|1989 to 1990||
Hull Cancer Research Award, Yale Cancer Center
|1991 to 1995||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Table of Contents
Growing up in Portland, Connecticut. Family background. Early graduation from high school. Working at a summer camp on Lake Winnipesaukee. Influences.
Acceptance at Connecticut College. Zoology major. College science courses. Interest in dance. Taking a semester off to take class at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Research cruise. Working at a veterinarian's hospital.
Biochemistry at University of Texas. Culture shock in Texas. Working on cytoskeletal proteins in the Kwan Wang lab. Joining a modern dance company. Leaving school after completing master's degree. Working as a lab technician for Joanne Ravel. Transferring to Dieter Söll's lab at ale. CompletingUniversity of Texas PhD while conducting research at Yale.
Accepts postdoc at Carnegie Institution of Washington in the Allan Spradling's lab. The spatial regulation of expression in follicle cells. Develops protocols for doing mutagenesis with P elements. Studying kelch and chickadee. Search for a principal investigator position.
Accepts position at Yale University. Feiyu Xue's discovery that the kelch gene localizes to ring canals. Esther Verheyen's work on chickadee. Lab's divided focus on genes related to the function of ring canals and genes related to the regulation of actin in nurse cells. Devising genetic screens to look for interacting proteins. The grant application process. Research on mammalian putative kelch homologues. Lab collaborations. Earning a pilot's license. Meeting her husband, Ted Killiam. Balancing work and family life. Guest editing Developmental Genetics.
Writing scientific papers. Interactions with the oogenesis subgroup within the Drosophila research community. Funding. The role of chickadee and singed genes in bristle development. The impact of molecular techniques on developmental biology. The Human Genome Project. Need to improve the public's understanding of basic research. Professional organizations. Satisfaction with her career.