Peter G. Gillespie
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Peter G. Gillespie was born in Seattle, Washington in 1958; the elder of two brothers. Both Gillespie's mother, who came from Idaho, and his father, who came from Washington, attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where they were mathematics majors. His father worked for several computer companies during the early days of the industry. Gillespie was an avid reader of books throughout his youth; he also became very involved in outdoor activities such as bicycling, hiking, and rock-climbing. He credits his love of the outdoors and some important high school influences for his love of the sciences. Gillespie received his Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Reed College in 1981. Initially he struggled with the course load at Reed and contemplated alternative career paths. It was during his fellowship studying photoreceptors at the Neurological Science Institute that he became interested in neuroscience. Following graduation he worked for two years as a lab technician and decided to apply to graduate school. Gillespie matriculated into the Graduate Pharmacology Program at the University of Washington, where he did he research in Joseph A. Beavo's lab. He received his PhD in 1988. He also met and married his wife, Susan K. H. Gillespie, when he was a graduate student. Gillespie accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of California, San Francisco in James Hudspeth's lab only to have to move with Hudspeth a year later to his new lab at the University of Texas Southwest in Dallas, Texas. With Hudspeth, Gillespie began to focus his research on the molecular characterization of auditory hair cells. In 1993 Gillespie was appointed Assistant Professor in the Physiology Department at Johns Hopkins University, which was under new leadership. Unfortunately, after several years the program was not achieving the goals for which Gillespie had hoped; as a result he opted in 1999 to accept a position as an associate professor at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Gillespie now carries out his research at the Vollum Institute, where he studies auditory hair cell signal transduction and the implications of different myosin isozymes on this complex physiological process. Throughout the oral history Gillespie emphasizes the importance of keeping experiments simple and sharing all scientific discovery. Gillespie has won several awards, including a postdoctoral fellowship, NIH grants, and the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant that he discusses in the oral history.
|1988||University of Washington||PhD||Pharmacology|
University of California, San Francisco
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Johns Hopkins University
Oregon Health and Science University
|1994 to 1998||
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant
Table of Contents
Parents. Ancestors. Reed College. Childhood activities. Reading books. Junior High School. Bicycling. Rock climbing. Parental expectations. High School. Influential teachers. Religion. Social life. Applying to and choosing a university.
Attends Reed College. Struggle with workload. Considers forestry school. Fellowship at Neurological Science Institute. Studies photoreceptors. Choosing a career. Two years working as lab technician. Deciding on graduate school. Choosing a graduate school program.
Enters University of Washington's pharmacology program. Second thoughts. Research in Joseph A Beavo's lab. Meets and marries wife. Wife's education and career. Choosing a postdoctoral lab.
James Hudspeth's lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Moves with Hudspeth to University of Texas Southwest in Dallas, Texas. Dallas compared to San Francisco. Obstacles in Dallas. Research environment. Health issues. Applying for employment. Considerations for wife's Career. Writing grants.
Associate Professorship in physiology department at Johns Hopkins University. Early grants. Receives Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant. Importance of Pew annual meetings. Physiology department challenges. Applying for a new position. Oregon Health and Science University. Vollum Institute. Move back to Oregon. Tenure. Financial structure of Oregon Health and Science University. Publication. Teaching duties. Diversity in graduate school. Women in science. Lab management. Current lab set-Up. Lab meetings. Administrative responsibilities. Traveling.
Balancing family and career. Having children. Impact on research. Wife's career and outlook. Contemporary students. Challenges of scientific research. Free time. Family activities. Typical daily schedule. Working early. Childcare responsibilities
Interest in current research. Auditory system. Hair cell signal transduction. Characterization of myosin isozymes. Using mice to study myosin. Calcium pump and proton extrusion mechanism research. Source of ideas. History of science. Keeping experiments simple. Serendipity. Motivation for research. Medical applications. Patenting science. Commercialization of research. Collaboration and competition. Data fraud. Quality control. Government legislation on science. Human cloning. Stem cell research. Use of animals in the lab. Goals. Personal satisfaction.