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Your Environment. Your Health.

Michael Karin, Ph.D.

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.

How long have you been at the University of California, San Diego; and where were you born?

How did you get interested in science?

At what point in your career did science interest you?

How did you become interested in molecular biology?

In this era of "big science", what do you think the future holds for investigator-initiated research?

How do you select a person for a particular area of science in your lab?

You must get a lot of post-doc applications. What kind of personality traits do you look for in a potential post-doc?

How did your lab become interested in anthrax and lethal toxins?

What is your philosophy on doing outstanding science?

How do you always seem to be on the forefront of your field?

What is your view on the importance of reading, in doing outstanding science?

How do you feel about some type of forum to get science out to the lay people?

What’s your opinion on the genomic approaches in science and the problem of their implementation?

How do you motivate the people in your lab to work as a team?

How do you manage a large group and get them to work together to solve problems?

What area of biology do you find most exciting or potentially rewarding today?

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