Bioinformatics

Interviewed by
Jon Phillips
Interview date
Location
Baltimore, Maryland
Abstract

In this interview, Jon Phillips, oral historian at AIP, interviews David Rose, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Waterloo. In this interview, Dr. Rose discusses his education in physics and biology as an undergrad at Penn. He then discusses his graduate studies under David Phillips at Oxford University, and his introduction to crystallography while there. He describes his post-doctoral work with Gregory Petsko at MIT, and the growth of crystallography in the US at that time. He recounts his transition to the Canadian National Research Council in Ottowa, where he worked on protein crystallography and glycobiology. He goes on to discuss his move to the University of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital, where he spent the majority of his career. Finally, Rose discusses his time at the University of Waterloo, teaching and research during the COVID-19 pandemic, and his tenure as President of the American Crystallographic Association.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with William Duax, professor emeritus at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute. Duax recounts his childhood in Illinois, and he describes his early interests in the theater and bee keeping, before he focused on science at St. Ambrose University. He describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Iowa, and he talks about his introduction to quantum chemistry and X-ray crystallography. Duax discusses his postdoctoral research growing crystals with Abe Clearfield at Ohio University, and he explains the circumstances leading to his decision to join the faculty at HWI. He describes his developing interests in endocrinology and the formative influence of David Harker at the Roswell Park Research Crystallographic Center. Duax describes the long-term support of the NIH for his research agenda, and he discusses the value of his appointment at SUNY Buffalo. He recounts his long-term involvement in the American Crystallographic Association and his ongoing research interests in steroid structure and ribosomal proteins. Duax explains the importance of taking an evolutionary approach to his research, and he discusses some recent advances in bioinformatics. At the end of the interview, Duax describes his interest in social justice movements, and in particular, Black Lives Matter, and he explains the future promises of electron microscopy. 

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews Helen Berman, Professor Emerita at Rutgers, where she remains affiliated with the Proteomic Center and the Institute for Quantitative Medicine. Berman recounts her childhood in Brooklyn, her early adventures in science working in a lab at Barnard College, and she expounds on how Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” concept, which she learned as an undergraduate, continues to shape her thinking today. Berman explains her early interests and talents in crystallography, which she learned from Barbara Low of Columbia. Berman describes her decision to pursue her graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked with George Jeffrey and where she completed her dissertation on carbohydrate crystallography. She explains the sequence of events leading to her career at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia where she researched nucleic acids, and how a personal health scare led her to make a significant personal and career shift. Berman describes her early involvement with the Protein Data Bank at Brookhaven Lab and her vision to harness computational power to grow the PDB into a massive collaborative effort and the rise of structural bioinformatics. In the last portion of the interview, Berman describes her decisions to move to California, and her recent foray into documentaries that focus on human health issues HIV and diabetes, which stem from her broader interest in improving the way that scientists interface with the broader public.