Harvard Medical School

Harvard Graduate School of Medicine

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
video conference

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews Michael Levin, Vannevar Bush professor of Biology and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts. Levin recounts his early childhood in Moscow and the circumstances leading to his family's arrival in Massachusetts. He explains his early interests in technology and physics, and he describes his multidisciplinary curriculum at Tufts that that explored computational and biological questions which fascinated him. Levin discusses his graduate work at the Harvard Medical School where he studied gene expression in embryos from a quantum level perspective. Levin explains his postdoctoral research with Mark Mercola and his work at the Forsyth Institute. He discusses his developing interests in bioelectricity and the challenges associated with presenting his work in mainstream academic science.  Levin discusses in interest in cancer research and he describes his work as director at the Allen Discovery Center. Levin explains his decision to take on a joint appointment at Harvard, and he describes the utility of using the metaphors of computer hardware to explain biological systems. He describes his current interests in AI and the future of evolutionary biology.