The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Jonathon Howard was born in Sydney, Australia. The oldest of four children, he grew up in a suburb of Sydney. He lived near Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, where he loved to hike, camp, and fish. He also played cricket and soccer and surfed. His parents were both architects until his father became a successful landscape architect and his mother a teacher of architecture. None of his siblings finished high school, and Howard disliked school intensely—except for mathematics—playing truant for much of his time there. But along came William Eason, who had been headmaster at Ku-Ring-Gai Chase High School before Howard entered. Eason founded International School, to which Howard transferred and in which he throve. From International School Howard went to Australian National University, obtaining his BSc in mathematics in 1979. He lost interest in mathematics and became interested in physics and neurobiology for graduate work. He obtained his PhD from Australian National University in 1983. He then took a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol in Bristol, England. Sensing a lack of common interest with co-workers there and not liking the weather, he took a postdoc at the University of California at San Francisco, where he worked in Albert James Hudspeth's lab. He found UCSF's intellectual climate stimulating and exciting. He also met his wife, Karla M. Neugebauer, there. Howard became interested in both vision and hearing, studying first photoreceptors and then hair cells. He accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Washington, which he thought would be a better place to continue his research on kinesin and myosin. He remains there today, attempting to balance his construction of his own tools, his teaching, his thinking, his research, and his life with wife and young daughter. He has won many awards, including the Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences award, and he has many publications to his credit.
|1979||Australian National University||BSc|
|1983||Australian National University||PhD|
Australian National University
University of Bristol
University of California, San Francisco
University of Washington
|1976 to 1978||
Australian National Undergraduate Scholarship
Australian Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Scholarship
M. G. F. Fuortes Travelling Scholarship
|1988 to 1990||
Fellowship, Fondation pour l 'Ètude du Système Nerveux Central et Périphérique
|1990 to 1992||
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
|1990 to 1994||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Table of Contents
Born in Sydney, Australia. Growing up in suburb of Sydney. Three younger siblings. Parents architects at first; then his mother became teacher of architecture and his father a landscape engineer. Attending state schools. Loving the outdoors. Disliking school, but loving mathematics, at which he was good. Truant in high school until he entered International School.
Attending Australian National University in Canberra. Picking fruit for summer job. Reading to upgrade his education. Surfing. Drinking. Socializing. Becoming interested in neurobiology. Summer employment picking cherries--Increasing disillusionment with mathematics.
Hermann von Helmholtz's On the Sensations of Tone as the Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music influences Howard. Choosing lab of G. Adrian Horridge for PhD. Studying vision in invertebrates. Photoreceptors in insects. Signal-to-noiseratio. Working with Allan W. Snyder and Simon B. Laughlin
Postdoc with Jonathan F. Ashmore at the University of Bristol. Switching to University of California at San Francisco to work with Albert James Hudspeth. Meeting and marrying Karla M. Neugebauer. Deciding to study hair cells and hearing. Gating-spring model of ion channels. From Lower vertebrates' to humans' hearing. Kinesin and myosin.
Accepting position at University of Washington. Establishing his own lab. Equipment. Funding. Increasing interest of others in kinesin and myosin research. Potential therapeutic benefits of motor protein research. Family life.