Donald Glotzer may hold the honor of being the world’s oldest “early career” scientist.
Throughout his entire career as a surgeon, the thought of academic research became an itch Glotzer never had time to scratch. He had chosen surgery as his specialty thinking it would give him time to conduct laboratory experiments, but he quickly learned that he was wrong—surgery, he says, “was a total commitment.” As a result, while he did publish a number of clinical and preclinical papers over the course of his career, he never got that academic experience that he had once imagined for himself. That is, until he retired.
At age 70, Glotzer officially bid his surgical career goodbye, and decided to spend his golden years in the world of academia. He interviewed a variety of other molecular and cell biologists in the Boston area to see if they thought it was a...