Linda C. Meade-Tollin
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Linda C. Meade-Tollin was born and raised in London, West Virginia, one of two children. Her father was a dentist and a community activist, her mother a teacher of languages and a guidance counselor. Always enthusiastically encouraged by parents and teachers, Meade-Tollin did well in school, skipping two grades. When she was in ninth grade her high school was integrated, and the three top graduates in her year were black women. Although there were no science classes in her schools until high school, Meade-Tollin was always interested in science, and when she entered West Virginia State College she decided to major in chemistry. She worked at Harlem and Bellevue Hospitals before entering a chemistry PhD program at the City University of New York (CUNY) at the age of twenty one; a year later she transferred to a program in biochemistry. During her graduate career, Meade-Tollin spent time teaching and she traveled among the various CUNY campuses to do research with Burton Tropp—her doctoral thesis dealt with gene expression in E. coli.
Meade-Tollin’s first faculty appointment was at the College at Old Westbury, and, for part of her time there, she was also a visiting assistant professor at Rockefeller University, working on sickle cell anemia in Anthony Cerami’s lab. She met her future husband, Gordon Tollin, while he was on sabbatical from the University of Arizona at Bell Laboratories and Rockefeller University. She applied for and received a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral award at the University of Arizona; at the end of her award at Arizona, Meade-Tollin married and she also decided to stay at the University. She held several research, teaching, and administrative appointments there while also caring for elderly parents in her home. She was the only African-American woman to head a biomedical research laboratory at the University for many years; her areas of research focused on DNA damage, angiogenesis, and cancer invasion and metastasis. During this time she developed a reproducible and physiologically relevant bioassay for angiogenic inhibitors and enhancers suitable for drug discovery screening, and she spent a year as Faculty Development Fellow at Morehouse School of Medicine. Meade-Tollin has done many things in her career, but she considers her training and mentoring her greatest accomplishments.
She retired as a Research Assistant Professor Emerita in 2008. Now in retirement, Meade-Tollin is enjoying family, travel, health and fitness activities, and spiritual development. She is also Director of Anti-Metastasis Research for a biotech company, Cure Cancer Worldwide Corporation, and a consultant to Wish, a nutritional counseling company.
|1964||West Virginia State College||BS||Chemistry|
|1969||City University of New York, Hunter College||MA||Biochemistry|
|1972||City University of New York||PhD||Biochemistry|
College at Old Westbury, SUNY
The Rockefeller University
University of Arizona
Morehouse School of Medicine
|1991 to 1993||
NIH/NCI Minority Investigator Supplement
|1994 to 1996||
NIH/NHLBI Minority Investigator Supplement
|1996 to 2001||
NIH/NHLBI K14 Mentored Faculty Career Development Award
Henry Hill Award for outstanding research from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
AACR Minority Scholar Travel Award
Inducted into the African Scientific Institute
Retired from the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a Research Assistant Professor Emerita
Table of Contents
Growing up in London, West Virginia. Parents. Good in school. Science classes in high school. Integration.
Entered West Virginia State College at only sixteen. Bachelor's degree in chemistry at nineteen. Alpha Kappa Alpha. Spent year at Bellevue and Harlem Hospitals. Loved learning. Decided to combine chemistry and biology in biochemistry graduate work.
Entered City College of New York. Lived briefly with aunt in Harlem. Traveled among the CCNY campuses. Worked with Maria Tomasz and Burton Tropp. Obtained PhD; thesis dealt with gene expression in E. coli.
Assistant professor at College at Old Westbury. Visiting assistant professor at Rockefeller University. Meets future husband. Works on sickle cell anemia in Anthony Cerami's lab.
Moves to Arizona, marries. Research Associate at University of Arizona. Cares for elderly parents. Daughter. Faculty Development Fellow at Morehouse School of Medicine. Women in Science and Engineering. Research in angiogenesis. NOBCChE. Grants.
Need network of mentors. Seek help getting grants. Find structure that helps new faculty progress. Keep track of goals. Focus. Volunteer; ask what you can do.
Nature of human consciousness. Continuing to learn about many things. Tai Chi. Grandchildren.
About the Interviewer
Jeannette E. Brown has a research MS degree from the University of Minnesota and a BS degree in the Field of Chemistry from Hunter College. She started her industrial career at CIBA Pharmaceutical Co. as a junior chemist, working there for eleven years, and she held the position of Research Chemist at Merck & Co. Inc. for 25 years. Brown is a former Faculty Associate in the department of Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, holding the title of New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative (NJSSI) Regional Director. She was appointed to the National Science Foundation Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (CEOSE) and served on that committee for six years. She is the 2005 recipient of the American Chemical Society Dreyfus Award for mentoring minorities in science and she is currently working on a book about the history of African-American women chemists.