Interviews with Scientists
25:57Joseph Graziano, Ph.D.
14:05Michael Karin, Ph.D.
16:32Catherine P. Koshland, Ph.D.
5:13Stephen Safe, Ph.D.
10:36James M. Tiedje, Ph.D.
03:02Jessica Williams, Ph.D.
01:35What initially attracted you to a career in science?
29 September 2005
Dr. Joseph Graziano's research career has been devoted to understanding the consequences of exposure to metals, both on the molecular and population levels. Human exposure to metals occurs via a number of different scenarios that include exposure in the workplace; in the home, such as lead paint, or arsenic in drinking water; or outdoors due to airborne emissions from industry or transportation vehicles. In the past, Dr. Graziano's research was almost entirely devoted to lead poisoning, which has contributed to understanding the adverse effects of lead exposure on childhood development. As a pharmacologist, his laboratory developed the oral drug that is now used to treat children with lead poisoning.
More recently, Dr. Graziano's work has taken him to Bangladesh, where his current research is aimed at understanding the consequences of arsenic exposure on the Bangladeshi population, and on devising strategies to reduce toxicity and provide arsenic-free drinking water, a problem that spans beyond the political borders of Bangladesh to much of South Asia, from India to Vietnam. Recent findings that both arsenic and manganese, both elevated in Bangladesh drinking water, are associated with cognitive deficits in children, add urgency to solving this enormous public health and environmental problem.
03:06How did your career eM.P.H.asis in public health develop?
04:14Added to the severe poverty in Bangladesh, what are the best options for providing safe drinking water for the nation's citizens, numbering around 144 million?
03:02Has the multidisciplinary nature of the Superfund Basic Research Program led you into new fields of research and new opportunities?
02:10What do you think is your most important, rewarding, or exciting discovery?
03:42When you have an opportunity to interact with non-scientists, how do you describe the importance of your work and its implications in their daily lives?
02:44What motivates you as a scientist and mentor?
02:09Who have been the most influential people in your career?
03:16If you were starting your career today, what new field of science would you find most interesting?
00:37How long have you been at the University of California, San Diego; and where were you born?
18 November 2002
Dr. Michael Karin is currently a Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA in 1979. He is a leading world authority on signal transduction pathways that regulate gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli. Key achievements include definition of cis elements that mediate gene induction by hormones, cytokines and stress, identification and characterization of the transcription factors that recognize these elements and the protein kinase cascades that regulate their activities. He has published over 200 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 14 different patents or pending patent applications. Recently Dr. Karin was ranked first worldwide by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in a recent listing of most-cited molecular biology and genetic research papers published in prestigious journals.
On November 18, 2002, Dr. Karin came to NIEHS as part of the SBRP Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series. After his seminar, Dr. Karin was interviewed by the Program Analysis Branch of the Division of Extramural Research and Training. Following are the details of that interview.
00:22At what point in your career did science interest you?
00:39How did you become interested in molecular biology?
01:23In this era of "big science", what do you think the future holds for investigator-initiated research?
01:25How do you select a person for a particular area of science in your lab?
01:31You must get a lot of post-doc applications. What kind of personality traits do you look for in a potential post-doc?
00:50How did your lab become interested in anthrax and lethal toxins?
02:09What is your philosophy on doing outstanding science?
01:32How do you always seem to be on the forefront of your field?
01:27What is your view on the importance of reading, in doing outstanding science?
01:31How do you feel about some type of forum to get science out to the lay people?
01:46What’s your opinion on the genomic approaches in science and the problem of their implementation?
01:32How do you motivate the people in your lab to work as a team?
01:07How do you manage a large group and get them to work together to solve problems?
00:35What area of biology do you find most exciting or potentially rewarding today?
00:36What initially attracted you to a career in science and engineering?
10 June 2004
Dr. Catherine P. Koshland is currently the Wood-Calvert Professor in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Professor in Energy and Resources and in Public Health (Environmental Health Sciences). She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1985. Professor Koshland's research is at the intersection of energy, air pollution and environmental (human) health. It is conducted at multiple scales, from mechanistic analyses of combustion products in flow reactors to control strategies in urban airsheds. Her combustion research has focused on pollutant formation particularly involving chlorinated hydrocarbons and particulates, and the development of advanced diagnostic tools for non-intrusive monitoring of combustion species including chlorinated hydrocarbons, metals and particles. She has worked in green manufacturing and industrial ecology, addressing the conception and assessment of environmental and health dimensions to improve energy and manufacturing technologies. Her work includes critical assessments of regulatory policy.
On June 10, 2004, Dr. Koshland came to NIEHS as part of the SBRP Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series. After her seminar, Dr. Koshland was interviewed by the Program Analysis Branch of the Division of Extramural Research and Training. Following are the details of that interview.
00:39How did you career develop?
00:39Was your engineering background a good match for the needs of the School of Public Health at Berkeley?
01:19Has the multidisciplinary nature of the Superfund Basic Research Program led you into new fields of research and new opportunities?
02:31What do you think is your most important or exciting discovery?
01:33When you have an opportunity to interact with non-scientists, how do you describe the importance of your work and its implications in their daily lives?
03:51What factors do you use to motivate young people into exploring careers in science and engineering?
03:11What motivates you as a scientist and mentor?
01:47Who have been the most influential people in your career?
02:26If you were starting your career over, what new field of science or engineering would you find most interesting?
00:16What initially attracted you to a career in science?
20 September 2004
Dr. Stephen Safe is currently a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. He received his D.Phil. at Oxford University in 1965. His interests include regulation of nuclear hormone receptors, anticancer drug action, PPARg agonists, selective Ah receptor modulators, gene expression, and molecular mechanisms of action. The research program in his lab is focused on ligand activated receptors such as estrogen receptor a (ERa), peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor g (PPARg) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR).
On September 20, 2004, Dr. Safe came to NIEHS as part of the SBRP Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series. After his seminar, Dr. Safe was interviewed by the Program Analysis Branch of the Division of Extramural Research and Training. Following are the details of that interview.
00:24How did your career develop?
00:59Who have been the most influential people in your career?
00:55Has the multidisciplinary nature of the Superfund Basic Research Program led you into new fields of research and new opportunities?
00:50When you have an opportunity to interact with non-scientists, how do you describe the importance of your work and its implications in their daily lives?
00:51What factors do you use to motivate young people into exploring careers in science and engineering?
00:36What do you think is your most important or exciting discovery or contribution?
01:15What are the major influences of your opinions?
01:07If you were starting your career over, is there a new field of science or engineering that would attract your interest?
01:28What first attracted you to science and to the field of microbiology?
19 September 2002
Dr. James M. Tiedje is currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1968. The research program in his lab focuses on understanding the ecology, physiology and biochemistry of microbial processes important in nature and of value to industry. This includes discovering and understanding bioconversion reactions by anaerobes, especially as it relates to destruction of hazardous wastes; the ecology, physiology and biochemistry of denitrification; and the fate and impact of genetically engineered microbes so that their success or risk in nature can be better predicted.
On September September 19, 2002, Dr. Tiedje came to NIEHS as part of the Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series. After his seminar, Dr. Tiedje was interviewed by the Program Analysis Branch of the Division of Extramural Research and Training. Following are the details of that interview.
01:27Comments on the growth of the field of microbial ecology and its importance in the modern world.
01:43Genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics are having tremendous impacts on all fields of biology. How are these new technologies affecting microbiology?
01:07What do you think is your most important scientific discovery or contribution?
01:00What is reductive dechlorination and why is it important in the environment?
01:22What keeps you motivated as a scientist and a mentor of young scientists?
01:50What do you think is the most exciting emerging area in your field of microbial ecology?
01:29Describe how multidisciplinary research, such as that supported by the Superfund Basic Research Program, has been important to your own research efforts.
00:30Comments on the importance of the National Academy of Sciences to the U.S. Government.