The name Erkki Ruoslahti appears so frequently below the titles of groundbreaking cell biology papers in top-quality journals, it should be a household word in cell laboratories by now. Three of his team’s papers have been listed among The Scientist’s ‘Hot Papers’ during the past three months; two other papers have made it into the Institute for Scientific Information’s Current Contents listing of the 100 most-cited life-sciences articles for 1986.
While Ruoslahti’s name has been appearing with consistency, however, the names of his coauthors frequently change—not because he’s tough to work with, but because he seems to have a gift for developing the talents of colleagues who later move on to lead teams of their own.
Ruoslahti works at the 12-year-old La Jolla (Calif.) Cancer Research Foundation, where there are many stars among the cell biologists on its 150-person staff. For instance Eva Engvall, creator of the ELISA...