Jonathan D. Goldberg

Born: October 30, 1967 | London, GB
Photograph of  Jonathan D. Goldberg

Jonathan D. Goldberg was born in Hertfordshire, England. An influential teacher and lessons on DNA led Goldberg to pursue biology at University of Liverpool, where he studied biochemistry and had his first experience with intensive lab work. He subsequently attended Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine and received his PhD under David M. Blow; his graduate research focused on protein structure and x-ray crystallography. Drawn by John Kuriyan's more experimental approach in structural biology, Goldberg joined Kuriyan's lab at Rockefeller University for a postdoc, researching the structural biology of cell signaling. James Rothman convinced him to take a position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at which he took a hands-on approach to his small lab, and where his research has focused on intracellular transport.

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

			

Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0599
No. of pages: 103
Minutes: 450

Interview Sessions

William Van Benschoten
26, 30 December 2003 and 5 January 2004
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York

Abstract of Interview

Jonathan D. Goldberg was born and raised in Hertfordshire, England, one of two children. From the outset, it was clear to his parents that Goldberg was talented academically and so they encouraged him from a young age to attend university. He went through the British state-school system and advanced rapidly through his studies; his interest in science began early, choosing math, chemistry, and biology as his three subjects for A Level exams. Although academically inclined, he also had interests and participated in activities outside of school, including sports, reading, and Boy Scouts. An influential teacher and some interesting lessons on DNA led Goldberg to pursue biology for his undergraduate study. He attended the University of Liverpool, where he majored in biochemistry and had his first experience with intensive lab work. Despite his focus on microbiology while at Liverpool, Goldberg's own interests drew him to structural biology. He subsequently attended the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine and received his PhD under David M. Blow, in whose laboratory Goldberg enjoyed a great deal of scientific freedom; his graduate research focused on protein structure and x-ray crystallography. Drawn by John Kuriyan's (Pew Scholar class of 1989) more experimental approach in structural biology, Goldberg joined Kuriyan's lab at Rockefeller University for a postdoctoral position, researching the structural biology of cell signaling. James Rothman convinced him to take a position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at which he took a hands-on approach to his small lab. Goldberg's research has focused on intracellular transport, and he discusses how his research, which has resulted in a number of publications in prestigious journals, may further the field. In this interview, he also reflects on some broader themes that have affected his research and career, including funding, publishing, and, later in the interview, creativity, collaboration, and competition. Additionally he remarks upon how his own laboratory has operated, including his laboratory's approach to structural biology, his management style, and how his intuition has factored into his research. He also spends some time talking about being part of a two-scientist family, and how he has managed to balance career and family, describing his typical day in the laboratory. The interview ends with his beliefs about the ways in which the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences has impacted on his career.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1989 University of Liverpool BSc Biochemistry
1993 Imperial College London PhD

Professional Experience

The Rockefeller University

1993 to 1996
Postdoctoral Fellow under John Kuriyan

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

1996 to 2001
Assistant Member
2001 to 2003
Associate Member
2003
Member

Weill Cornell Medical College

1996 to 2001
Assistant Professor
2001 to 2003
Associate Professor
2003
Professor

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2000 to 2003
Assistant Investigator
2004
Investigator

Honors

Year(s) Award
1989 to 1993

Science & Engineering Research Council Fellowship, UK

1998 to 2002

Pew Biomedical Scholar

1998 to 2002

New York City Council Speakers Award for Biomedical Research

2000

Boyer Award for Basic Research, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Table of Contents

Childhood and College
1

Hertfordshire, England. Family background. Parents. Sister. Childhood interests and experiences. Early schooling. Parental expectations. Sister's career. Religion. Secondary school education in the British state-school system. Extracurricular activities. Decision during secondary school to pursue science. Influential teachers. Attends the University of Liverpool. College experiences. Reasons for becoming a principal investigator (PI). College research project. Interest in structural biology.

Imperial College, Rockefeller University, and Starting at Sloan-Kettering
24

David M. Blow. Transition to Imperial College of Science in London, England. Blow's mentoring style. Field of X-ray crystallography. Typical day in graduate School. Projects in structural biology, solving protein structures with X-ray crystallography. Postdoctoral fellowship in John Kuriyan' s laboratory at Rockefeller University. Impression of New York City. Kuriyan's lab. Postdoctoral research. Probable career path as a scientist in England. Accepts a position at Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City. Setting up his laboratory. Role in the laboratory.

Laboratory Life and Managing a Laboratory
46

Current research in structural biology on intracellular transport. Practical applications of research. Future research on the specificity of intracellular transport. Travel commitments. Teaching responsibilities. Administrative duties. Funding history. Writing journal articles. Laboratory management style. Wife. Balancing family and career. Leisure activities.

Scientific Work, Research, and Reflections on Science
67

Typical workday. Professional goals. Patents. History of science. Competition and collaboration. Tenure at the Sloan-Kettering Institute. Role of the scientist in forming public policy. Gender. Ethnic issues. Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.

Index
101

About the Interviewer

William Van Benschoten