David J. Julius
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
David J. Julius was born and grew up in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York, where he lived with his parents and two brothers, one older and one younger. His father was an engineer and his mother an elementary-school teacher. Julius attended the local grammar school, but he tested into Peter Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He commuted there for a year before deciding that though the social and entertainment life in Manhattan surpassed those in Brooklyn, he preferred to go to the local high school, Abraham Lincoln High School. He was interested early in the sciences, although he did not particularly enjoy school. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his BS in 1977. He then obtained his PhD from University of California at Berkeley in 1984. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research at Columbia University; he then was an associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Columbia University. In 1989 he was appointed assistant professor at the University of California at San Francisco, where he remains. He is the winner of a number of awards, including the Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences award, and has published many papers. Julius's major areas of interest include yeast genetics, the secretory pathway, Xenopus and Aplysia, neurobiology, electrophysiology, mouse genetics, and the serotonin receptor. He is married to Holly A. Ingraham.
|1977||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||BS||Biology|
|1984||University of California, Berkeley||PhD||Biochemistry|
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
University of California, San Francisco
Eloranta Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California Graduate Studies Award
|1984 to 1987||
Fellow, Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research
|1990 to 1994||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award
Table of Contents
Growing up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York City, New York with parents and two brothers. Cultural influences of his Russian Jewish heritage. Commuting to high school in Manhattan; transferring to local high school; finding Manhattan exciting for social life. Disliking school at first; beginning to like it in junior high school. Having vague career plans.
Attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Curriculum and work experience at MIT. Summer jobs. Developing an interest in things other than science; reading fiction. Deciding to study biological sciences. Entering Joel Huberman's lab. Okazaki fragments of DNA. Inspired by elegance of Louis F. Reichart's work. Discovering an aptitude for experiments. Summer at Simon Litvak's lab in Bordeaux, France. Applying to graduate schools.
Purifying enzymes at University of California at Berkeley. Lab rotations. Working on yeast genetics in Jeremy W. Thorner's lab. Randy Schekman's lab. Processing steps along secretory pathway. Seeking an enzyme that will cleave a-factor substrates. Mutant genes' ability to make a-factor. KEX2 gene. Interest in biochemistry of hormones.
Taking a postdoc at Columbia University Institute of Cancer Research. Shifting research focus to brain signaling. Working in Richard Axel's lab. Becoming interested in cloning serotonin receptor; trying Dan R. Littman's method of cloning to get serotonin receptors. Technological constraints on experiments. Working with Thomas M. Jessell to find neurotransmitter receptors. LearningXenopus technology from Douglas A. Melton. Receptors in choroids plexus of the brain. Electrophysiological measurements. Cloning a serotonin receptor. Running Julius's own lab. 5HT1c; 5HT3. Therapeutic applications of his research.