Jean T. Greenberg
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Jean T. Greenberg was raised, principally, in New York City with her mother, though she spent weekends in Connecticut with her father; Greenberg had one older brother. Her father was a physician with "the heart" of a scientist; her mother was interested in the arts and worked as a multi-faceted assistant to an author. Greenberg attended private schools in New York City throughout her childhood, but found them unable to cope with students who had interests that went beyond the curriculum or those who were more advanced than their classmates. She maintained strong friendships with peers interested in the humanities and the arts, but found herself much more interested in mathematics and the sciences. Her time outside of school was occupied with enjoying the culture and opportunities of New York City, working, and the weekend commutes to Connecticut. Greenberg applied early to, and was accepted at, Barnard College, where she continued her New York City life while earning her undergraduate degree. Working in a biophysics lab piqued her interest and she decided to apply to biophysics programs for graduate school, ultimately deciding to attend Harvard University. At Harvard, she chose to work in Bruce Demple's laboratory defining the genes involved in the control of the adaptive responses to oxidative stress in bacteria, and appreciating the freedom and personal attention this decision provided, as well as the strong support group of other students and professors in the Boston area. From there, she and her future husband, Adam Driks, decided to remain in Boston and Greenberg began a postdoctoral fellowship in Frederick M. Ausubel's laboratory at Harvard, studying disease resistance and symptoms in the plant Arabidopsis. After her postdoctoral work, she accepted a position at the University of Colorado, Boulder, mapping and characterizing the genes involved in disease resistance, and then at the University at Chicago, working on adaptive resistance to disease, on a pathogen's ability to elicit disease, and on the biology of disease symptoms. At the end of the interview, Greenberg talks about the process of writing journal articles; her lab management style and her professional responsibilities; creativity in science; setting the national science agenda; and the role of the scientist to inform the public. She finishes with a discussion of the privatization of research; and the role of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences in her research.
Massachusetts General Hospital
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Chicago
Magna Cum Laude, Barnard College
|1989 to 1992||
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Biology
|1996 to 1999||
American Cancer Society Research Fellow
|1996 to 2016||
Pew Biomedical Scholar
Table of Contents
Family background. Traits she inherited from her mother. Relationship with her father. Growing up in New York City, New York, and New Haven, Connecticut. Father's interest in science. Early schooling. Childhood experiences and interests. Attending private schools in New York City. Interest in mathematics and science. Influential teachers and mentors. Parental expectations.
Attends Barnard College. Meets and later marries her husband. Decides to pursue science after working in a laboratory during college. Has a pivotal college experience in an organic chemistry laboratory. The impact of religion. Extracurricular activities in high school.
Attends Harvard University for graduate school. The biophysics graduate program at Harvard. Bruce Demple's laboratory and management style. Doctoral research defining the genes involved in the control of the adaptive responses to oxidative stress in bacteria. Postdoctoral fellowship in Frederick M. Ausubel's laboratory. The process of writing journal articles. Postdoctoral research on disease resistance and symptoms in the plant, Arabidopsis.
Greenberg accepts a position at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her husband's career. Setting up her laboratory at Boulder. Mapping and characterizing the genes involved in disease resistance. Moves to the University of Chicago. Tenure at the University at Chicago. Current research on adaptive resistance to disease, on a pathogen's ability to elicit disease, and on the biologyof disease symptoms. Teaching responsibilities. Funding history.
The process of writing journal articles. Lab management style. Leisure activities. Patents. Creativity in science. Competition and collaboration. Her criteria for pursuing a particular research project. The national science agenda. The role of the scientist to inform the public. Impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.