Jorge E. Galán

Born: October 19, 1956 | Pellegrini, AR
Photograph of Jorge E. Galan

Jorge E. Galán was born in a small town near Buenos Aires. After high school he attended the University of La Plata, where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and his Doctor of Veterinary Science. He became interested in infectious diseases, particularly in horses, and was accepted to the PhD program at the veterinary school at Cornell University. There he discovered his major interest, Salmonella. He worked for several years in Roy Curtiss’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis before he started his own lab at SUNY Stony Brook. There he discovered Type III protein secretion system. He continues to work most hours of every day in his lab, to teach, and to mentor his graduate students and postdoctoral students.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0481
No. of pages: 79
Minutes: 246

Interview Sessions

Marcia L. Meldrum
18–20 March 1996
State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York

Abstract of Interview

Jorge E. Galán was born in Pellegrini, a small town near Buenos Aires in Argentina. His father was a businessman, dealing with agriculture, his mother a homemaker. He had one older sister and one younger. While he still lived at home, he attended political and business meetings with his father and became very interested in politics. When Galán was 12, he was sent to a Salecian boarding school in Santa Rosa. After high school he decided to attend the University of La Plata, where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and his Doctor of Veterinary Science. He became interested in infectious diseases, particularly in horses, and was accepted to the PhD program at the veterinary school at Cornell University. There he discovered his major interest, the clever Salmonella bug. He worked for several years in Roy Curtiss' lab at Washington University in St. Louis before he started his own lab at SUNY Stony Brook. There he discovered Type III protein secretion system; and he continued to study Salmonella. He continues to work most hours of every day in his lab, to teach, and to mentor his graduate students and postdoctoral students.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1980 University of La Plata DVM
1982 University of La Plata Dr of Vet Sc
1987 Cornell University PhD

Professional Experience

Washington University in St. Louis

1986 to 1989
Research Associate, Department of Biology

State University of New York at Stony Brook

1989 to 1994
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
1994
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Honors

Year(s) Award
1982 to 1984

Organization of American States Fellowship

1984 to 1986

New York State Fellowship

1985

James M. Sherman Award to Outstanding Graduate Research in
Microbiology

1990 to 1994

Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

1991

Searle-Chicago Community Trust Scholar

1991

Sinsheimer Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

1994

Established Investigator, American Heart Association

Table of Contents

Childhood, adolesence in Argentina
1

Catholic boarding school in Argentina. Family background. Early interest in politics. Veterinary training at the University of La Plata, Argentina. Research on infectious diseases prompts Galán to pursue further study abroad.

Graduate Years in Cornell University
24

Enters Cornell University as a doctoral student in veterinary school. Performs research on neonatal immunological response to Streptococcus equi in the John F. Timoney lab. Introduces new techniques to veterinary medicine. Medical field’s lack of response to veterinary pathogen research. Postdoc at Roy Curtiss III lab at Washington University. Investigates Salmonella pathogenesisin the Curtis's lab.

Lab at SUNY Stony Brook
50

Galán starts own lab at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Discovery of Type III protein secretion system. Uses scanning electron microscopy to observe Salmonella-cell interaction. Salmonella-induced cytoskeletal rearrangement. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor activated by Salmonella--Cross-talk cellular responses to Salmonella invasion. Tyrosine phosphatase enzyme potentially a signaling molecule. Evolution's effect on Salmonella and host.

Funding and General Thoughts: Running a Lab
69

Science funding. Selecting postdocs and graduate students for lab. Strong motivation a prerequisite in lab. Galán's commitment to science leaves little time for other activities. His lab's writing skills. Field's initial response to work on Salmonella-cell interaction. Proposed work on how bacteria enter a nonphagocytic cell. How to prepare for a research career in microbial pathogenesis. Pharmacological applications for Galán's research on protein secretion mechanisms. Practical applications of Salmonella research.

Index
88

About the Interviewer

Marcia L. Meldrum