How I Got This Job
Building a Strong Foundation
Andy Chan | Sep 21, 2003
Courtesy of Genentech Early Indications: My first and continued interest was human health and disease that subsequently evolved to the scientific mechanisms that underlie normal and aberrant immune function. Mentors of Merit: I've had the luxury of multiple outstanding scientific mentors. The first was John Atkinson at Washington University in St. Louis, with whom I performed my thesis work. John is one who always meshed and identified the critical scientific questions that ultimately alway
Risk the Unpopular and Marry Talent
Robert Blanchard | Sep 7, 2003
Courtesy of Robert Blanchard Early Indications: As an undergraduate I was attracted to experimental psychology, because it seemed to provide a scientific approach to understanding animal and human behavior. Pivotal Papers: There were two; one in each area that has turned out to be a focus of the lab. "Crouching as an Index of Fear" (J Comp Physiol Psychol, 67:370-5, 1969) raised the heretical specter of a powerful unconditioned fear response and also provided a neat demonstration of rapid a
Avoid Falling in Love with Your Own Hypothesis
Adriano Aguzzi | Aug 24, 2003
Courtesy of Adriano Aguzzi Early Indication: I was fascinated by life sciences in high school. Medical school failed to provide me with sufficient background knowledge in the natural sciences to successfully pursue a career as a scientist, so I engaged in all sorts of extracurricular activities in laboratories while I was a medical student. How I Got Here: My medical background proved very useful for research activity in the neurosciences, which has become my mission in the last 15 years. Wh
Have Fun, Be Useful
Evgeny Zdobnov | Jul 27, 2003
Courtesy of Evgeny Zdobnov Early Indications: Thanks to my parents, I got interested in science and did well in school, so I was accepted to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. It is Russia's elite university in physics and mathematics. There I developed my attitude to science and its philosophy, earned my BS, MS, and later my PhD. Although fascinated by living organisms, I had never considered myself a biologist before, and in applying to the faculty of Physical and Chemical Biol
Prepare Your Mind; Analyze Your Assumptions
William Greenough | Jul 13, 2003
Courtesy of Beckman Institute, University of Illinois Early Indications: As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work in James L. McGaugh's lab at the University of Oregon under the sponsorship of a National Science Foundation undergraduate research program. Once I realized that universities would actually pay people to do this, my course was set. How I Got Here: I did graduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles, which, in 1964, was a Mecca for interdisciplinary neurosc
Assert Yourself, Appreciate your Colleagues
Adam Arkin | Jun 29, 2003
Courtesy of Peg Skorpinski Early indications: Except for a brief flirtation with writing at one point, I always wanted to be a scientist. Since I was young, I've loved biology and computers, and it's continued ever since. How did I get here? I consider myself lucky being able to come to Berkeley after my postdocs, both because of the work I was doing and the coincidental increase of attention to my field. Pivotal paper: I think the paper that caused the most discussion was my lambda phage p
Toward a Pleasurable Postdoc
Andrew Pemberton | Jun 15, 2003
How I Got This Job | Toward a Pleasurable Postdoc Courtesy of Andrew Pemberton Early Indications: I saw a flyer for marine biology degrees on a school bulletin board when I was either 16 or 17 years old and just thought, "This is for me." How I got here: After earning my Bachelor's degree at Liverpool University, I spent a year at Leicester University learning basic molecular biology techniques before starting my PhD at Aberdeen University. During the third year of my PhD studies, I began
Linking Scientists with Business People
Jane Chin | Jun 1, 2003
Courtesy of Jane Chin  Jane Chin,independent medical science liaison Early indications: I was a microbiology major as an undergraduate and doing research in a lab. While isolating plasmids and hobnobbing with Pseudomonas putida, I found the research environment to be exciting, and decided to study mammalian cell biology in graduate school. How I got here: As my research was concluding, I knew that I had no desire to continue with a postdoc, but in graduate school I had no idea medical s
The Rewards of Respect
David Maclennan | May 4, 2003
Courtesy of David MacLennan Early indications: I became interested in the genetics of cereal grains when I was 11 years old. My father was a registered seed grower in Manitoba and I was able to compare varieties that were rust-susceptible and rust-resistant. That interest led me into research in the Rust Research Laboratory of Agriculture Canada in Winnipeg when I was a second-year undergraduate student. I expected to work in a very practical area of applied research when I started out. I soon
Moving from Promise to Proficiency
Heather Cordell | Apr 20, 2003
Courtesy of Heather Cordell Early Indications: I'd always enjoyed mathematics and statistics at school and then at university. I was interested in applying statis-tical and mathematical methods to scientific and medical problems and got into the area of statistical genetics, basically because I came across an opening to do a DPhil (PhD) in that area. Having gotten into the field, I found genetics to be a source of very interesting statistical problems, as well as providing the opportunity to
Fascination and Faith
Utpal Banerjee | Mar 23, 2003
Courtesy of Utpal Banerjee Utpal BanerjeeChair of the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) Professor of MCDB and the Biological Chemistry Department, University of California, Los Angeles Early indications: As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a scientist. In elementary school I saw a transparent liquid turn pink upon touching it; perhaps it was not quite as profound as wondering about the origin of life or anything, but it had the same effe
Fate, Flack and Flair
Margaret Robinson | Mar 9, 2003
I hadn't necessarily intended to become a scientist. I went to a liberal arts college (Smith College, Northampton, Mass.) without any clear idea of what I would eventually do and just became captivated by cell biology. 
Cyber Scientist Ciphers Biology
Terry Gaasterland | Feb 23, 2003
How I Got This Job | Cyber Scientist Ciphers Biology Courtesy of Terry Gaasterland  Terry GaasterlandAssociate professor, Head, Laboratory of Computational Genomics, Rockefeller University Early Indications: I always wanted to be a scientist, the question was, what kind? For a long time in high school I saw myself becoming a medical doctor, but when I wrote my first computer program as a college freshman I got hooked on computer science. Pivotal Paper: My most thrilling, accepted pap
Pursuing Practical Science
Anthony Watts | Feb 9, 2003
Courtesy of Anthony Watts  Anthony WattsProfessor of biochemistry aand Fellow of St Hugh's College, Oxford;Director, National Biological Solid State NMR Facility at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory;Managing editor, European Biophysics Journal Early indications: I've always been interested in science. As a boy, I asked for chemistry sets for presents, was interested in physics and reveled in math. I worked in my spare time fixing electrical goods, giving me a superb start in life with ... p
Sidetracked to Bioinformatics
The Scientist Staff | Jan 26, 2003
How Did I Get That Job? | Sidetracked to Bioinformatics Photo: © Bill Geddes Lincoln SteinResearcher, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Early Indications: My original plan was to be a science journalist. At Johns Hopkins University I started taking science courses along with my writing classes to be a better journalist, but got sidetracked. I became interested in the life sciences and never got back to my original plan. Also, I've always enjoyed computers, even since high school. In
Love the Job; Help the Community
James Madara | Jan 12, 2003
Courtesy of James Madara James L. Madara Richard T. Crane Professor Vice President for Medical Affairs Dean, Division of Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine The University of Chicago EARLY INDICATIONS: I was training in pathology and found that a more mechanistic understanding of the cellular relationships I viewed under a microscope was a worthwhile goal. I had no intention of becoming a department chair, nor a dean (at first). I did really enjoy interacting with postdo