Carol W. Greider
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Carol W. Greider was born in San Diego, California. Her father was a physicist; her mother was a biologist who died when Carol was young. Her father had a position at Yale University when Carol was a child, and they lived in New Haven for a couple of years. Then they returned to California, to the University of California at Davis, where they continued to live while Carol grew up, except for a year in Germany when Carol was about ten. She learned to speak German there and continued to study the language when she was in high school. Beatrice Sweeney, a friend of her father, inspired Greider to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara. She studied circadian rhythms there, working with a graduate student who was studying microtubules in chicken brains. She spent her junior year in Göttingen, Germany. In part because of Elizabeth Blackburn, Greider decided to attend graduate school at University of California at Berkeley. In Blackburn's lab she cloned telomeres by functional complementation and became interested in how sequences are added into telomeres. She began searching for the telomerase enzyme; when she discovered it she determined its nucleic acid component, finding that telomerase is sensitive to RNase and has an RNA component. After completing her PhD she accepted a postdoc at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where she remains. Greider continued work on telomerase, relating it to human aging and cellular senescence and attempting to clone the RNA component of telomerase. She found herself in competition with Blackburn's lab to some extent. But her collaboration with Calvin Hurley, who was recruited into Geron Corporation, led to a position as an advisor there; she has, therefore, what many scientists consider a great deal of funding. Competitors have risen in what used to be Greider's own area, but still telomerase remains uncloned. Greider has organized and held a conference on telomerase; she is editing a textbook; and she meets with others—most recently in Sweden—who are interested also in telomeres and telomerase.
|1983||University of California, Berkeley||BA||Biology|
|1987||University of California, Berkeley||PhD|
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Auslandsamt Scholarship, Georg-August-Universität
Regents Scholarship, University of California
Phi Beta Kappa
Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
|1990 to 1994||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Allied-Signal Corporation Outstanding Project Award
Table of Contents
Born in San Diego. Father physicist, mother biologist. Mother died when Carol very young. Spent most of childhood in Davis, California. Spent a year in Germany when in grade school. Liked and did well in science in high school.
Inspired by Beatrice Sweeney to attend University of California at Santa Barbara. Studied circadian rhythms in Sweeney's lab. Worked with a graduate student, Kevin Sullivan, studying microtubules in chicken brains. Worked with David Asai. Spent junior year as exchange student in Göttingen, Germany. Travel and social life. Dyslexia's effects on career. Applied to graduate schools.
Entered University of California at Berkeley. Worked with Elizabeth H. Blackburn on cloning telomeres. Worked in Steven K. Beckendorf's lab. Telomerase enzyme; Tetrahymena; RNase.
Postdoc at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Bruce W. Stillman's role there. Consulting for Biotechnology companies. Conflicts of interest. Cellular senescence. Sets up her own lab. Competes with Blackburn lab. Repeats and processivity. Funding. Private industry and conflicts of interest.
Sets up and manages her own lab. Calvin Hurley, her collaborationist, goes to Geron Corporation. Greider eventually gets a position as advisor at Geron. Her lab studies telomerase in humans and mouse. Other labs become interested intelomerase. Telomerase researchers in Sweden. Greider's conference on telomeres. Lab management.