Roy M. Long
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Roy M. Long grew up in Lebanon, a small town near Hershey, Pennsylvania. His father worked at the Hershey factory, his mother in a department store. Because his father worked afternoons and evenings, Long spent most of his time with his mother, older sister, and grandmother. He attended what he calls average public schools, where his performance did not live up to expectations from standardized tests. Teachers told his parents he was good in science and math, so his parents pushed him toward medicine. Long attended Pennsylvania State University, majoring in molecular and cell biology. He made his decision to pursue scientific research rather than medicine when he took a gene expression class; then, wanting to gain lab experience to see if indeed research would be a good career for him, he worked in Ross Hardison's laboratory. He worked for two years as a technician in Alberto Manetta's laboratory and then entered Milton S. Hershey Medical School of Pennsylvania State University for graduate study in biochemistry, where he worked in James Hopper's laboratory. Here he discusses his reasons for choosing Penn State, what the university was like, and his criteria for selecting Hopper's laboratory. He also talks about using yeast as a model system for gene regulation and expression, the running of the Hopper laboratory, and Hopper's mentoring style. He describes his graduate-school classes, his doctoral research in gene expression in Hopper's lab, and thesis defense. During this period of his life, Long also marries and has a daughter. Long accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with Robert Singer at University of Massachusetts Medical School; there his research centered on RNA localization. He discusses Singer's mentoring style and why Singer moved his lab to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where Long did another postdoc. Long interviewed for jobs at a number of universities and eventually chose Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He discusses the process of conducting scientific research; setting up and running his laboratory; funding; the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences grant on his work; and his teaching and administrative responsibilities. He continues discussing his collaborations; his laboratory management style; how he writes grants; and his view of competition in science. Long next talks about his current research in gene expression studying the mechanisms of RNA localization in yeast; his role in the lab; and practical applications of his research. He expresses his opinion on such issues as setting the national science-funding agenda; patents; how to educate the public about science, the importance of doing so, and the scientist's role in that education; and gender and ethnic issues in science. Long details a typical work day. He concludes by discussing his wife and daughter and explaining how he attempts to balance family and career.
|1985||Pennsylvania State University||BS|
|1994||Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine||PhD|
University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
|1999 to 2002||
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences
March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Starter Research Award
Table of Contents
Early schooling. Attending high school in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Influential teacher. Attends Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Majors in molecular and cell biology. Family background. Religion. Decision to pursue scientific research rather than medicine. Meets and works in Ross Hardison's laboratory during college. Works as a technician in Alberto Manetta's laboratory. Attends Milton S. Hershey Medical School of Penn State for graduate study in biochemistry. Works in James E. Hopper's laboratory. Reasons for choosing Hershey Medical School for graduate school. Graduate program at Penn State. Criteria for selecting James E. Hopper's laboratory. Using yeast as a model system for gene regulation and expression. Reasons for becoming a principal investigator. Hopper's mentoring style. Long's mentoring style. College and graduate school classes. Doctoral research in gene expression in James E. Hopper's laboratory. Thesis defense.
Postdoctoral fellowship with Robert H. Singer at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Research on RNA localization in Singer's laboratory. Singer's mentoring style. Move to Albert Einstein Medical Center. Setting up the Singer laboratory. Collaborations. Wife's career. Conducting scientific research. Running his laboratory. Setting up laboratory. Funding history. Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. Teaching responsibilities. Administrative duties. Collaborations in science. Laboratory management style. Grant-writing process.
Competition in science. Current research in gene expression studying the mechanisms of RNA localization in yeast. Role in the lab. More on collaborations and current research. Practical applications of research. Setting the national science agenda. Other careers Long would pursue. Setting the national science-funding agenda. Patents. Educating the public about science. Role of the scientist in educating the public about science. Gender and ethnic issues in science. Wife and daughter. Balancing family and career. Childhood experiences. Typical workday. Professional and personal goals.
About the Interviewer
Karen A. Frenkel is a writer, documentary producer, and author specializing in science and technology and their impacts on society. She wrote Robots: Machines in Man’s Image (Harmony 1985) with Isaac Asimov. Her articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, CyberTimes, Business Week, Communications Magazine, Discover, Forbes, New Media, Personal Computing, Scientific American, Scientific American MIND, The Village Voice, and Technology Review. Ms. Frenkel’s award-winning documentary films, Net Learning and Minerva’s Machine: Women and Computing aired on Public Television. She has been an interviewer for Columbia University’s Oral History Research Center’s 9/11 Narrative and Memory project, The National Press Foundation’s Oral History of Women in Journalism, and the International Psychoanalytic Institute for Training and Research’s Oral History. Professional memberships include: The Authors Guild, National Association of Science Writers, Writer’s Guild of America East, and New York Women in Film and Television: Past Member of the Board and Director of Programming. Her website is www.Karenafrenkel.com.