Marcia B. Goldberg

Born: July 29, 1957 | Boston, MA, US

Marcia B. Goldberg grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She received her BA from Harvard University, where she developed an interest in physiology, which encouraged her to attend Harvard Medical School. She traveled extensively, including a service trip to Gabon, and explored many aspects of medicine by working with various non-profits. During her residency, she researched virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae alongside Dr. Stephen B. Calderwood. She then spent several years studying Shigella flexneri pathogenesis in Philippe J. Sansonetti's Lab at the Pasteur Institute. Goldberg became assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, but after a few years moved to Harvard Medical School. Her current research focuses on the IcsA protein of Shigella flexneri and its role in actin assembly during the bacterium's infection of mammalian host cells.

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0542
No. of pages: 67
Minutes: 300

Interview Sessions

Helene L. Cohen
1-2 November 1999
Harvard School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Abstract of Interview

Marcia B. Goldberg was born in 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts; the second of four siblings. Goldberg grew up in a very egalitarian family environment full of enrichment and educational opportunities. Although the Goldberg family was not very religious her parents still believed strongly in preserving their Jewish traditions and culture. Goldberg credits her interest in the sciences to an outstanding public education system in Brookline, Massachusetts where she grew up; she especially lauds her high school teachers. Goldberg attended Harvard University, where she received a BA in biology in 1979. At Harvard she developed an interest in physiology, an interest that she parlayed into a desire to attend medical school. She matriculated into Harvard Medical School, where she received her MD in 1984. During medical school, Goldberg traveled extensively, funded by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship; her travel included a service trip to a hospital in Gabon. She also took a year off between her first and second years to explore the many aspects of medicine by working in various non-profit and volunteer positions. Goldberg pursued her residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she began conducting research on virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae alongside Dr. Stephen B. Calderwood. She then spent several years studying Shigella flexneri pathogenesis in Philippe J. Sansonetti's lab at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Goldberg's current research is still focused on Shigella flexneri and its modalities of mammalian cell infection and pathogenesis. In 1993 Goldberg was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 only to accept an associate professorship at Harvard Medical School shortly thereafter. Goldberg's current research focuses on the IcsA protein of Shigella flexneri and its role in actin assembly during the bacterium's infection of mammalian host cells. Throughout her oral history Goldberg highlights the gender differences that exist throughout the sciences. Goldberg is a Fulbright Scholar and has won many awards and fellowships including an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, a fellowship from l'Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, a Melini Award, and a Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant, which she discusses in the oral history.

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1979 Harvard Medical School BA Biology
1984 Harvard Medical School MD

Professional Experience

Harvard Medical School

1984 to 1987
Clinical Fellow
1987 to 1990
Research Fellow
1999
Associate Professor

Pasteur Institute

1991 to 1993
Research Fellow

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

1993 to 1998
Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
1998 to 1999
Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
1993 to 1999
Assistant Professor, Medicine

Honors

Year(s) Award
1983

Albert Schweitzer Fellow

1991

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Fellowship

1991 to 1992

Fulbright Scholar

1994 to 1998

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant

1995

Melini Award

Table of Contents

Growing Up
1

Family background. Religion. Jewish culture and traditions. Religion and science. Parental expectations. School. Interest in science. Influential teachers. Extracurricular activities. Applying to universities.

Undergraduate and Medical Education
10

Attends Harvard University. Interest in human physiology. Applying to medical schools. Harvard Medical School. Infectious diseases. Applying for residency. Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. Traveling. Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Volunteering in Gabón. Cali, Colombia. Epidemiology research inneonatal mortality. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Nobel Peace Prize. Saving Soviet filmmaker's life.

Postdoctoral Research
15

Fellowship with Stephen B. Calderwood. Studies infectious diseases. Virulence factors in Vibrio cholerae. Calderwood's influence. Second postdoc Philippe J. Sansonetti's lab at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Shigella flexneri pathogenesis research. IcsA protein's role in actin assembly. Finding a job. Choosing between clinical practice and research.

Principal Investigator Research
20

Associate Professor position at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Lab management. Funding. Promotion. Husband's career, impact of family on research. Move to Harvard Medical School. Job security. Current lab set-up. Foreign students. Gender and race in the sciences. Strain of children on female researchers. Gender discrimination.

Public Medicine
46

Taking a year off. Working at the Public Citizen Health Research Group. Working at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Perinatal mortality Research in Cali, Colombia. Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Gabón.

Current Research
53

Shigella flexneri pathogenesis in mammalian cells. IcsA protein. Applications of research. Receiving the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant. Pew Annual Meetings. Competition, collaboration, patents, serendipity, benchwork, teaching, grants, administrative responsibilities, publication, technology. Career goals. Balancing family life and work. Hobbies and Interests. Travel.

Index
64

About the Interviewer

Helene L. Cohen