The fence between industry and academia seems like a precarious place to sit. But a team of California scientists makes the balancing act look easy. Their perch on that fence has been the perfect place for cranking out highly cited research, including four “Hot Papers” identified by The Scientist in the past year (May I, 1989, page 12).

The laboratories of immunologists Robert Coffman and Tim Mosmann are side by side on the secondfloor of DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto. Seven years ago, in the early days of the company, Coffman and Mosmann were assigned to neighboring labs by chance, and they immediately began developing a formula for a practical combination of academic and industrial science that has been working for them ever since. And even after subsequent moves, they have continued to work side by side.

DNAX (pronounced “Deen-x”) was designed as a hybrid biomedical research company from...

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