First Person | Robert G. Roeder

Courtesy of The Rockefeller University

Robert G. Roeder, raised on a Booneville, Indiana farm, is grateful that his parents were religious. Laboring before and after school and every Saturday, he appreciated the requisite day of rest. Lifting 100-pound feedbags gave Roeder (pronounced RAY-dur) the build to play high-school football and the work ethic to graduate valedictorian. Indeed, hard work and long hours drove his career as a biochemist, teasing apart the complex nature of eukaryotic transcriptional control. "Most of my life--it was then and it is now spent in the laboratory," he says. Now, at 61, the Rockefeller lab head and winner of the 2003 Lasker Award for basic biomedical research juggles to fulfill lab duties, ruing lost time to be by himself or with his two-year-old daughter. A recent beautiful Sunday in New York was spent in his office, not in Central Park....

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