Carolyn E. Machamer
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Carolyn E. Machamer was born and grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, the oldest of three sisters. Her extended family, mother's in California and father's in Pennsylvania, remains close. Her father was a microbiologist who met Carolyn's mother in San Diego, California while he was "collecting soil samples" for an oil company. After they married they moved to Detroit, where Mr. Machamer took a position at Parke, Davis. Although the family had a division of labor typical for that time, all three sisters attended excellent colleges and are very successful. Perhaps subconsciously inspired by her father, Carolyn evinced an early interest in science, particularly biology. She attended Bucknell University, taking all the science courses on offer and finishing with a major in biology. While at Bucknell, she worked on acrosomes in Sally Nyquist's lab Later she worked on BUDR and virus replication at the Michigan Cancer Foundation and then on poliovirus at National Cancer Institute. Machamer took a fellowship at Duke University and began work on SSPE virus. Her PhD was delayed by insufficient technology at the time and by the leavetaking of Hans J. Zweerink, her lab boss. She moved to Peter Cresswell's lab, where she finished her thesis research on major histocompatibility complex antigens. From Duke she went to a postdoc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. There she worked in John K. Rose's lab, studying M glycoprotein and RNA viruses. Improved technology allowed a breakthrough in her coronavirus research, which she published after moving to Yale University, where she stayed for about a year. From Yale Machamer went to the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, where she remains today. She enjoys teaching in the medical school and directing the journal club, and of course she loves being in the lab. Her current research involves sphingolipids and compartmentalization in the Golgi.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Yale University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
National Institutes of Health Special Achievement Award
|1976 to 1981||
National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship
|1984 to 1986||
National Institutes of Health Individual Postdoctoral National Research Service Award
|1990 to 1994||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Table of Contents
Growing up in suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Father's work as microbiologist at Parke, Davis; then in administrative work there. Early interest in science. Close relations with mother's family in California and father's in Pennsylvania
Choosing Bucknell University. Working at the Michigan Cancer Foundation lab. Undergraduate research on acrosomes with Sally Nyquist. Biology faculty at Bucknell. Women's labs. Reading interests. Machamer's project at the Michigan Cancer Foundation; working on BUDR and virus replication Working on poliovirus in Nathaniel A. Young's lab at the National Cancer Institute inspires her interest in virology. Young's death and Machamer's attempts to prepare hisresearch for publication.
Accepting fellowship at Duke University. Working on subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) virus in the Hans J. Zweerink lab. Technology for studying the SSPE virus in the 1970s. How Zweerink's decision to leave Duke affected Machamer. Peter Cresswell allows Machamer to continue her measles virus research in his lab. Machamer's thesis research on biosynthesis of class IImajor histocompatibility complex antigens. Choosing a thesis project.
Postdoc in John K. Rose's lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Rose's early sequencing of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) genes. Machamer's unsuccessful attempt at expressing the cDNA for infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) M glycoprotein. Glycosylation. Creating new sites for carbohydrates on proteins. Different VSV strains' varying dependence on carbohydrates. Comparing viral and cellular protein studies. Studying RNA viruses. Breakthroughs in Machamer's coronavirus research due to better antibodies and a new vaccinia vector system. Funding and tenure at the Salk. Machamer's move to Yale. Publishing her coronavirus research.
Machamer's interest in teaching. Teaching responsibilities at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Directing the journal club. Delays in getting her lab set up. Sphingolipid research with technician Ann M. Swift. More on sphingolipid research--Edward B. Cluett's project in the lab. Compartmentalization in the Golgi complex.