William C. Sha
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
William C. Sha was born in New York City but moved as a young child to Chicago, Illinois, where his father, and then his mother, worked at the Argonne National Laboratory. Sha's father received a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering and his mother deferred graduate education in order to raise the family's children (Sha has two older sisters). He attended public schools and received an education that he considered quite typical, though he did have the opportunity during high school to work and publish with Ejup N. Ganic before he became President of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sha matriculated at the University of Chicago, where he majored in chemistry and worked with Stephen Lee in Jeremy K. Burdett's laboratory. While in college, he worked at Argonne National Laboratory with Ely M. Gelbard, a formative experience that helped convince him to enter an MD/PhD program. Sha joined the MD/PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he completed his doctorate of philosophy in immunology with Dennis Y. Loh before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship with David Baltimore at Rockefeller University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While in Baltimore's lab Sha worked on NF-kappaB transcription factors (during the interview he also provided his perspective on the Imanishi-Kari affair). At the end of his postdoctoral research Sha accepted a position at the University of California, Berkeley, conducting immunology research on the role of costimulatory molecules in regulating the immune response and on B- and T lymphocyte cell interactions. In his oral history interview Sha discusses topics such as his family history, the impact of his dual degrees on his research projects, writing journal articles, patents, the role of government in science, broader issues related to the conduct of science, and the ways in which the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences played a part in his scientific career.
|University of Chicago||BS||Chemistry|
|Washington University in St. Louis||MD/PhD|
Argonne National Laboratory
The Rockefeller University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California, Berkeley
|1997 to 2001||
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant
Table of Contents
Family background. Parents. Siblings. Parental expectations. Childhood experiences and interests. Early schooling. Works during high school in Chicago, Illinois, with Ejup N. Ganic. Influential teachers in high school. Extracurricular activities. Religion. Attends the University of Chicago, Illinois, and majors in chemistry. Creativity in science. Works in Jeremy K. Burdett's laboratory with Stephen Lee during college. Has a formative scientific experience at Argonne National Laboratory working for Ely M. Gelbard before entering medical school.
Decision to enter an M.D./Ph.D. program at Washington University. Doctoral research in immunology in Dennis Y. Loh's laboratory. M.D./Ph.D. program at Washington University. Loh's mentoring style. Loh laboratory. Postdoctoral fellowship in David Baltimore's laboratory. Postdoctoral research in immunologyat Rockefeller University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on NF-kappaB transcription factors. David Baltimore's mentoring style. Imanishi-Kari affair. Accepts a position at the University of California, Berkeley. Current research in immunology on the role of costimulatory molecules in regulating the immune response and on B and T lymphocyte cell interactions. Criteria for prioritizing research projects.
Professional and personal goals. Future research on host-pathogen interactions and on the role of costimulatory molecules in regulating the immune response. Setting up his lab. Laboratory management style. Teaching responsibilities. Funding history. Broader applications of work. Research and having an M.D. Degree. Future developments in immunology. Writing journal articles. Competition in science. Balancing personal life and career. Gender. Role of government in science. Patents. Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.