Jeffrey L. Noebels
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Jeffrey Noebels was born in New Jersey, one of three children; the family then lived in southern California until they moved to Geneva, Switzerland, when Jeffrey was twelve. His father was a chemist at Beckman Instruments, Inc., and his mother a housewife. Noebels is now married, and he and his wife have two daughters.
Noebels at first planned to major in French literature at Reed College, but Mary Meikle’s class in physiological psychology captured his interest in brain function. He spent a year at University College London, which was then the epicenter of brain study. He decided to get both a PhD and an MD. He began with graduate school at Stanford University, working on epilepsy with Timothy Pedley and David Prince, who were both clinicians and researchers. The American Epilepsy Society’s William G. Lennox Fellowship sent him to Harvard University for postdoctoral work, and then he began medical school at Yale University, fully committed to the study of the brain. While doing his neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he won a Klingenstein Fellowship to work on epilepsy. Having completed his degrees, Noebels was recruited to Baylor, where he was offered a generous startup package and founded the Developmental Neruogenetics Laboratory.
Noebels discusses the importance of sharing information in science. He acknowledges a tension between the need to publish often and finalizing bench work. He agrees that new technology has proved invaluable to neuroscience. He enjoys teaching. He believes we will never fully understand how the brain works.
|1972||Reed College||BA||Physiological Psychology/Chemistry|
|1977||Stanford University School of Medicine||PhD||Neurological Science|
|1981||Yale University School of Medicine||MD|
Harvard Medical School
Baylor College of Medicine
NIH Predoctoral Fellow
Epilepsy Foundation of America Fellow
Western EEG Society Research Award
William G. Lennox Fellow
|1981 to 1984||
Klingenstein Fellow in Neuroscience
National Research Council Award
Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners
Michael Prize of German Stiftung Michael
|1987 to 1990||
Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
Table of Contents
Childhood in New Jersey, California, and Switzerland. Family. Religion.
Reed College. Mary Meikle’s influence. University College London. Bernard Katz; Nobel Prize. Funding. Medical school and residency. Stanford University; Timothy Pedley and David Prince. Epilepsy lab.
Lennox Fellowship. Richard Sidman’s lab at Harvard University. Medical School at Yale University. Klingenstein Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Approaching tenure. Publications.
Went to Baylor. Lab management. Texas Medical Center. Career aspirations. Focus on academic neurology.
Current state of the science fields. New technology in neuroscience. Work hardships. Likely legacy of his work.
About the Interviewer
Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received MA and PhD degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.