The Joy of Discovery
Sitting Down With... David Baltimore, Nobel Laureate, President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology, USA.
Stephanie Sutton |
Going back to the beginning, why experimental science?
Growing up, you often question yourself about what you’re good at. And it became clear to me as I progressed through high school that I was good at science and mathematics. In 1955, I had the opportunity to spend a summer at The Jackson Laboratory (www.jax.org) and it introduced me to the huge potential of experimental science. It was very inspirational and essentially determined the rest of my life.
When I went to graduate school (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) back in 1960, I looked at what people were doing in experimental science; the most interesting work was being done with viruses, particularly ones that grow in bacteria. But I thought that the field was very limiting. I wanted to see if viruses could be used as a probe for the behavior of animal and human cells. I left MIT to go to Rockefeller University because there was a professor there – Richard Franklin – whose work was very closely aligned with my aspirations.
Later on, I met with Renato Dulbecco – one of the people bringing animal virology into the late 20th century – and he invited me to join him at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. I moved there in 1965, where I spent two and a half years before moving back to MIT.
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