The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Athan Kuliopulos was raised in North Reading, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, the middle child of three siblings in a close-knit Greek family. His mother worked as a secretary prior to having children, and then began doing so again once her kids were a older; his father received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his master's degree in electrical engineering from Boston University before working for Bell Laboratories. From an early age Kuliopolos was interested in all aspects of nature—entomology, geology, and meteorology—in the Boy Scouts, in stamp collecting, and playing with his friends and siblings. He enjoyed reading and science in school, working as a science-assistant while in junior high and spending time trying to make gunpowder as a chemistry experiment. In high school, Kuliopolos's biology teacher, Robert Gross, encouraged him to pursue independent biological research for a science fair project—Kuliopolos chose to study bacterial growth and natural products that inhibit such growth. He matriculated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where in his sophomore year he had his first publication with Charles W. Boylen (a map of bathymetry of Lake George). After taking James K. Coward's biochemistry course, Kuliopolos then began work in Coward's laboratory studying enzyme kinetics. From Rensselear he went on to the MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he undertook doctoral research on ketosteroid isomerase in Albert S. Mildvan and Paul Talalay's laboratories (he also worked with David Shortle). After Hopkins, he moved into a postdoctoral position researching vitamin K carboxylase in Christopher T. Walsh's laboratory at MIT, and subsequently decided to study G-protein coupled receptors. He met and married his wife and then accepted a position at Tufts University-New England Medical Center, where he has focused his researched on protease activated receptors and pepducins involved in blood coagulation and cell signaling. The interview ends with Kuliopulos's thoughts on his clinical trial collaborations with industry; the process of writing journal articles; balancing family and career; the issue of patents; and the pros and cons of privatization of research. He also reflects on ethical questions in science; his course in the history of medicine during medical school; setting the national science agenda; the role of the scientist in setting public policy; and the role of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences in his work.
|1983||Rensselaer Polytechnic University||BS||Biology|
|1989||Johns Hopkins University||PhD||Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology|
|1989||Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||MD|
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
magna cum laude, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
|1983 to 1989||
Trainee of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), National Institutes of Health
Paul Ehrlich Award for Basic Science Research, Johns Hopkins Medical School
|1991 to 1993||
Judith Graham Pool Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Hemophilia
|1993 to 1994||
NRSA, National Institutes of Health
|1996 to 1998||
American Society of Hematology Scholar Award
|1996 to 2000||
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant
|1998 to 1999||
GRASP Award, National Institutes of Health
|2000 to 2001||
New England Medical Center Research Fund Award
|2001 to 2003||
Cancer Center Research Award, New England Medical Center
Table of Contents
North Reading, Massachusetts. Family background. Childhood experiences. Parents. Siblings. Interests and hobbies. Parental expectations. Reading. Early schooling. Middle and high school in North Reading. Influential teacher. First research project.
Interest in sailing. Religion. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Publication with Charles W. Boylen during his sophomore year. Defining moment in a biochemistry course taught by James K. Coward. Works on enzyme kinetics in Coward's laboratory. The MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins University. Doctoral research on ketosteroid isomerase in Albert S. Mildvan and Paul Talalay's laboratories. Work with David Shortle. Social life as an MD/PhD student.
Postdoctoral fellowship with Christopher T. Walsh. Walsh's laboratory management style. Postdoctoral work on vitamin K carboxylase. Decides to work on G-protein coupled receptors. Meets and marries his wife. His children. Accepts a position at Tufts University-New England Medical Center. Tenure. Setting up his laboratory. His wife and her career. Current research on proteaseactivated receptors and pepducins involved in blood coagulation and cell signaling. Broader applications of his work.
Teaching responsibilities. Administrative duties. Clinical trial collaborations. Funding. Writing journal articles. His mentoring style. Balancing family and career. Leisure activities. Future research on protease activated receptors and cancer. Patents. Competition and collaboration in science. The national scienceAgenda. Public policy. Gender issues. The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant.