Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Expert Interview Transcripts
Each of the thirteen videos in Rediscovering Biology was based around interviews with at least three expert scientists in the field. Because of the limitations of a 30-minute video, only selected excerpts from each interview appear in the video. Here each interview is transcribed (and edited for clarity) in its entirety to make use of this valuable resource. The interviews were conducted by the video producers between April 2002 and February 2003 in locations around the U.S.


Wolfhard Almers, PhD
Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute
Wolfhard Almers, PhD, is a senior scientist at the Vollum Institute in Portland, Oregon. Neurons release neurotransmitter packed in vesicles in a process called exocytosis. Almers uses evanescent field microscopy to visualize and examine the events and molecules surrounding exocytosis, including vesicle docking, membrane fusion and recycling.
Unit: Neurobiology

David Altshuler, MD, PhD
Affiliate Member, Whitehead Institute
Altshuler is a member of the Whitehead Institute, as well as a practicing endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. His research led to the discovery of a single nucleotide polymorphism in a gene that is implicated in type 2 diabetes. He is now involved with creating a haplotype map of the human genome.
Unit: Genomics

Edward A. Berger, PhD
Chief, Molecular Structure Section, NIAID, NIH
Berger is chief of the Molecular Structure Section in the laboratory of viral diseases in NIAID and NIH. Berger's lab identified the first HIV co-receptor, a molecule that Dr. Berger and his colleagues dubbed "fusin." They showed that fusin must be present on the surface of CD4+ T cells in order for HIV to enter and infect these cells. Soon thereafter, Berger's group and others showed that other HIV strains use different co-receptors to gain entry into target cells. Many of these molecules ordinarily function as receptors for chemokines, proteins that help orchestrate immune responses.
Unit: HIV and AIDS

Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Blackburn is a professor of microbiology and biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco and an expert on telomeres. She is credited for discovering the substance called telomerase and has published extensively on the subject of these protective caps on the ends of chromosomes.
Unit: Cell Biology and Cancer

Anne K. Camper, PhD
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering; Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Camper is an associate professor of Civil Engineering and the associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman. Her research interests include bacterial attachment to surfaces, and biological treatment of drinking water and microbial regrowth in drinking water distribution systems.
Unit: Microbial Diversity

James Carrington, PhD
Director, Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology
Director of the Oregon State University's Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology. Carrington's lab conducts research on how viruses and host plants interact, using the model organism Arabidopsis. He uses genetic, genomic, and proteomic strategies to understand RNA silencing pathways, virus recognition events, and cellular targets for various RNA silencing suppressors. Carrington's research in RNA silencing has been included in the 2002 scientific "Breakthrough of the Year" in the journal Science. The magazine cited a body of work being done by several research groups across the nation on small RNA molecules, calling them "electrifying discoveries, which are prompting biologists to overhaul their vision of the cell and its evolution."
Unit: Genomics

Capt. Daniel Carucci, MD, PhD
Director, NMRC Malaria Program
Dr. Carucci is the Director of the Malaria Program at the Naval Medical Research Center where he oversees Navy research efforts on malaria, focusing on vaccine development and novel approaches to protecting individuals from the disease. He is also the Department of Defense coordinator for the Malaria Genome Project, where he oversees all DoD sponsored research in malaria genomics and proteomics.
Unit: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Rita Colwell, PhD
Marine Microbiologist
Dr. Colwell is a Marine Microbiologist and serves at the President of the National Science Foundation. She is an advocate of an integrated approach to studying disease called biocomplexity, giving a holistic, system-wide view of the causation and effects of disease. She was pioneer in the research done on the Cholera epidemics in Bangladesh. She was able to help define causation and drastically reduce disease in the communities through public health education.
Unit: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Leon Corzine
Farmer; Director, National corn Growers Association
Corzine and his wife grow corn and soybeans on their family farm near Assumption, Ill. Corzine is past president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. He currently serves on the National Corn Growers Association's Relations Committee and as chairman of the Biotechnology Working Group.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Bill Costerton, PhD
Director, Biofilm Center
Costerton is the director of the Center for Interfacial Microbial Process Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman. His work delving into the differences between floating and attached cells has revealed both the presence of extracellular matrix material surrounding attached cells and the ubiquity of slime-producing attached bacteria in natural systems.
Unit: Microbial Diversity

Ned David, PhD
Founder, Syrrx, Inc.
Founder of Syrrx, Inc., a proteomics company in San Diego that specializes in X-ray crystallography and determining protein structure for use in drug discovery.
Unit: Proteins and Proteomics

David L. Dornbos, Jr, PhD
Global Head, Production Research
Dornbos is the Global Head of Production Research at Syngenta Seeds.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Brian Druker, MD
Director, OHSU Cancer Institute Leukemia Center
Druker is the director of the OHSU Cancer Institute's Leukemia Center. In collaboration with Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis Pharmaceuticals) Druker developed the drug called Gleevec, which has seen an enormous success in treating a rare form of leukemia. His groundbreaking work has garnered much media attention, because of the drug's success.
Unit: Cell Biology and Cancer

Jonathan Eisen, PhD
Assistant Investigator, The Institute for Genomic Research
Investigator at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). His research interests include DNA repair, extremophiles, and phyogenomics.
Unit: Genomics

Judith Eisen, PhD
Professor of Biology
Eisen is a professor at the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon. She studies how neuronal diversity is generated during development, including how the correct number of cells are specified for specific neuronal fates at particular times and in particular locations. She specifically works on the patterning of neurons and neural crest cells in embryonic zebra fish.
Unit: Genetics of Development

Stanley Fields, PhD
Professor of Genetics and Medicine
Fields is a professor of genome sciences and medicine, and adjunct professor of microbiology at the University of Washington. He analyzes the function of proteins from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae on a genome-wide basis, and uses this yeast to develop assays that can be applied to proteins from any organism. In 1989 Fields and his colleagues developed a methodology for finding protein interactions, called the two-hybrid system. Since that time, other methods have been developed and used with success, but Fields' system has become the dominant tool among researchers throughout the world.
Unit: Proteins and Proteomics

Hunter Fraser
Molecular and Cellular Biologist
Fraser is a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate. His research on the evolution of protein interactions, in collaboration with Aaron Hirsch, was published in the journals Science and Nature.
Unit: Proteins and Proteomics

Fred Gage, PhD
Professor of Genetics
Fred Gage, PhD, is a professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute in San Diego. His research is focused on the generation of new neurons during adulthood, an idea that runs counter to neuroscience dogma. Gage hopes that the work will one day lead to therapeutic uses for people with stroke, paralysis, or Alzheimer's disease.
Unit: Neurobiology

Laurie Garret
Journalist, Newsday
Garret is the author of the books The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance and Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. She is also a medical and science writer for Newsday, in New York City. For her work, she has been awarded The Peabody, The Polk, and The Pulitzer Prize.
Unit: HIV and AIDS

Philip D. Gingerich, PhD
Professor of Geological Sciences
Gingerich is a professor of geological sciences and director of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan. He has studied the evolution of archaic whales for over twenty-five years, collecting specimens in Pakistan and Egypt. In 2000, he found fossils that confirmed the assertion by molecular biologists that whales evolved not from mesonychids, extinct wolf-like animals, but from artiodactyls, the ancestors of hippos and camels.
Unit: Evolution and Phylogenetics

Rebecca J. Goldburg, PhD
Scientist, Environmental Defense
Rebecca Goldburg is a Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense's New York City headquarters. Trained as an ecologist, Goldburg is active in public policy issues concerning food production, primarily ecological and food safety issues concerning aquaculture, antibiotic use in agriculture, and agricultural biotechnology.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Markus Grompe, MD
Professor of Genetics
Grompe is a professor of medical and molecular genetics at Oregon Health and Science University and also in the Department of Pediatrics. He studies metabolic liver diseases and the molecular genetics of Fanconi anemia. His research into hepatic gene therapy represents a potential cure for many hereditary and acquired liver diseases. Grompe is also working on methods to enrich for genetically transduced liver cells by in vivo selection and the use of liver stem cells.
Unit: Genetics of Development

Leland Hartwell, PhD
Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Hartwell is presently the president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2001 for his work on control of the cell cycle. Using the yeast as a model organism, he has identified many genes responsible for controlling cell division.
Unit: Cell Biology and Cancer

Aaron Hirsh
Computational Geneticist
Hirsh is a graduate student in Marcus Fieldman's lab at Stanford University. His paper on the evolution of protein interactions, in collaboration with Hunter Fraser, was published in the journals of Science and Nature.
Unit: Proteins and Proteomics

Leroy Hood, PhD
President, Institute for Systems Biology
Hood played a key factor in the Human Genome Project and was credited with developing the automated sequencer. He is recognized as one of the world's leading scientists in molecular biotechnology and genomics. Hood created the cross-disciplinary Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington, bringing together chemists, engineers, computer scientists, applied physicists, and biologists. He has recently created the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, and serves as its president. Recently, Hood's lifelong contributions to biotechnology have earned him the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation.
Unit: Proteins and Proteomics

Richard Huganir, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Richard Huganir, PhD, is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His laboratory is working to understand the interaction of molecules during long-term potentiation, a neuronal hyperactivity that is thought to underlie learning and memory.
Unit: Neurobiology

John Incardona, PhD
Senior Fellow
Incardona is a senior fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle. He studies the Sonic Hedgehog gene and its role in development. He also studies how the compound cyclopamine affects the hedgehog signaling pathway.
Unit: Genetics of Development

Holly A. Ingraham, PhD
Professor of Physiology
Ingraham is UCSF associate professor of physiology and obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at UC-San Francisco. She studies the development of endocrine and neuroendocrine organs using molecular biology and mouse genetics.
Unit: Biology of Sex and Gender

Mary-Claire King, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Genetics
King is an American Cancer Society professor of medicine and genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She was the first to prove that breast cancer is inherited in some families. She is now investigating the genes that predispose some women to breast cancer to learn what these genes may reveal about breast cancer generally.
Unit: Cell Biology and Cancer

Dan Kotansky
Hydrologist, BLM
Kotansky is an environmental protection specialist at the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho.
Unit: Microbial Diversity

Eric S. Lander, PhD
Director, Whitehead Center for Genomic Research and Professor of Biology, MIT.
Lander has been one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project. As the director of the Whitehead Center for Genomics, Lander has helped to build a series of maps that show the basic layout of the human and mouse genomes. He has published more than 240 original research articles in mathematics, economics, and biology in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and The American Journal of Human Genetics. He has also written a book entitled Calculating the Secrets of Life.
Unit: Genomics

Jay Levy, MD
Professor of Medicine; Research Associate, Cancer Research Institute
Levy is a professor in the Department of Medicine and research associate at the Cancer Research Institute at UCSF. His research focuses on biologic, immunologic, and molecular studies of the AIDS virus, emphasizing viral and immunologic features of HIV pathogenesis and long-term survival. Dr. Levy's group was one of the first to identify HIV, originally calling it the AIDS-associated retrovirus.
Unit: HIV and AIDS

Stuart B. Levy, MD
Scientist, Environmental Defense
Levy is a professor of Molecular and Microbiology and a professor of Medicine at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts where he researches the Tetracycline Efflux Protein. He is also the President of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, which is an organization that aims to promote responsible and appropriate use of antibiotics around the world.
Unit: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Judith M. Martin, MD

Pediatric Infectious Disease
Unit: Emerging Infectious Diseases

James Miller, PhD
Curator and Head, Applied Research Department at the missuri Botanical Garden; Adjunct Professor
Curator and head of the Applied Research Department at the Missouri Botanical Garden, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Miller studies the genetics of tropical plants and the natural products they generate.
Unit: Biodiversity

Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH
Professor, NYU
Marion Nestle is Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. Her research focuses on analysis of the scientific, social, cultural, and economic factors that influence dietary recommendations and practices. She is the author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health and Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Thomas E. Newberry
VP, Corp. Communications
Mr. Newberry is the Vice President of Corporate Communications at GTC Biotherapeutics in Framingham, MA. He is responsible for GTC's corporate communication programs - including investor and public relations, media relations, presentations and publications.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Rick Ostfeld, PhD
Animal Ecologist
Animal ecologist at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. His research focuses on the interactions among organisms that influence the risk of human exposure to vector-borne diseases and the dynamics of terrestrial communities. His recent research has focused on the causes of the spread of Lyme disease in New England.
Unit: Biodiversity

David Page, MD
Member, Whitehead Institute
Page is an investigator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is also the associate director of Science at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1992 his laboratory mapped and cloned the entire Y chromosome. Today, he uses the map and other tools to trace the genetic causes of male infertility, the history of the Y chromosome and human populations, and the origins of common genetic diseases.
Unit: Biology of Sex and Gender

Nipam Patel, PhD
Professor of Biology and Anatomy; Investigator, HHMI
Patel is a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago, and an associate investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Using data from Drosophila development, Patel is studying how developmental pathways have been conserved or altered between various arthropods, and between arthropods and other phyla. Insights into the nature of developmental and molecular alterations will help researchers to understand the evolutionary changes in the mechanisms of pattern formation, and provide a molecular basis for analyzing the diversification of body morphologies and developmental mechanisms.
Unit: Genetics of Development

John Postlethwait, PhD
Professor of Biology
Postlethwait is a professor of biology at the University of Oregon, Institute of Neuroscience. He studies the genetic regulation of animal development including development of the nervous system, the mechanisms of sex determination, the origin of novel morphologies in evolution and the evolution of the vertebrate genome.
Unit: Genetics of Development

Peter H. Raven, PhD
Director, Missori Botanical Garden
Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. He is a past president and chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the esteemed National Medal of Science. Raven, called by Time magazine a "hero for the planet," is a leader in the field of environmental sustainability.
Unit: Biodiversity

Tim Read, PhD
Assistant Researcher
Read, is an assistant researcher with the Microbial Genetics Group at The Institute for Genomic Research in Maryland. In addition to examining the genome and evolutionary history of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, Read also explores microbial genes as potential drug targets.
Unit: Evolution and Phylogenetics

Anna-Louise Reysenbach, PhD
Microbial Ecologist
Reysenbach is a microbial ecologist with special interests in the ecology of terrestrial and deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and in the evolution of biogeochemical cycles. She teaches the core microbiology course at Portland State University, as well as courses in Microbial Ecology and Microbial Diversity.
Unit: Microbial Diversity

Kari Stefansson, MD
CEO and Chairmand of the Board, DeCode Genetics
CEO and the Chairman of the Board of DeCode Genetics in Iceland. The company takes advantage of 1,000 years of genealogical records kept by the Icelandic people, and of the willingness of Icelanders to make their DNA available to the company for study of genetic patterns in disease.
Unit: Human Evolution

Eleanor Sterling, PhD
Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation
Sterling has over fifteen years of field experience studying biodiversity from Madagascar to Vietnam. She is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she now serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology.
Unit: Biodiversity

Phil Stewart, PhD
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Stewart is the Deputy Director and Research Coordinator a professor of Chemical Engineering at the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University. He studies biofilm control with antimicrobial agents, transport phenomena in biofilms, biofilm modeling, and biofilm detachment.
Unit: Microbial Diversity

Lukas K. Tamm, PhD
Professor of Biophysics, University of Virginia
Tamm is a professor of Biophysics at the University of Virginia where he is studying the structures and interactions of viral fusion proteins in lipid bilayers, mainly using the influenza surface protein, hemagglutinin (HA). This research opens possibilities to develop new classes of viral entry inhibitors, which would serve to prevent influenza infection.
Unit: Emerging Infectious Diseases

Ian Tattersall, PhD
Curator, Department of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History
Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is recognized as a leading scientist in the field of Human Evolution, with a career than spans several decades and countries around the world. Tattersall has authored many books, including Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness, and is credited with a number of major exhibits at the AMNH, in particular the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution.
Unit: Human Evolution

G. David Tilman, PhD
Professor of Ecology; Director, Cedar Creek Natural History Area
Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, and Director of the Cedar Creek Natural History Area. Tilman studies patterns in the biological diversity, structure and dynamics of plant (and sometimes insect) communities, as well as the effects of biodiversity on the stability and productivity of ecosystems.
Unit: Biodiversity

Gary H. Toenniessen, PhD
Director, Agriculture Programs
Gary Toenniessen was one of the original architects of The Rockefeller Foundation Rice Biotechnology Research Program initiated in 1984. He is currently the director of Food Security at the foundation. Since 1985, he has had responsibility for the development and implementation of the Foundation's International Program on Rice Biotechnology, designed to bring the benefits of biotechnology to poor rice producers and consumers in developing countries.
Unit: Genetically Modified Organisms

Ajit Varki, MD
Director, Glycobiology Research and Training center
Varki is professor of Medicine and Cellular Molecular Medicine and Director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at the University of California at San Diego. He studies the medical and evolutionary applications of glycobiology (the study of glycans, sugar chains that regulate many cellular functions).
Unit: Human Evolution

Eric Vilain, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Genetics
Vilain is an assistant professor of Human Genetics at UCLA. His laboratory is exploring the genetics of development, of the reproductive axis using the analysis of patients with disorders of sexual development and the study of animal and cellular models. He is also testing the hypothesis that there may be genetic influences on behavioral differences between males and females, in addition to the direct influence of sex steroids.
Unit: Biology of Sex and Gender

Erik von Muller
Von Muller was infected with the HIV virus in the early 1980s and is what is known as a long-term non-progressor: he has not developed AIDS. He is a participant in a study conducted by Dr. Jay Levy on long-term non-progressors.
Unit: HIV and AIDS

Robert Weinberg, PhD
Member, Whitehead Institute
Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Weinberg and his colleagues discovered the first human cancer-causing gene, Ras. Weinberg has written and edited five books and more than 290 articles.
Unit: Cell Biology and Cancer

David Weiner, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Weiner is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Pennsylvania. His research can be divided into the exploration of novel methods for the generation of antiviral immune responses, and dissecting the molecular virology of HIV-1. Weiner's lab was the first to identify an HIV gene that is associated with viral latency and silent infection. This should provide important clues about how silent infections are established in HIV-infected people, and how these silent infections later give way to AIDS.
Unit: HIV and AIDS

John Williams, PhD
Senior Scientist, Vollum Institute
John Williams, PhD, is a senior scientist at the Vollum Institute in Portland, Oregon. Williams investigates the actions of different endogenous neurotransmitters and exogenous drugs on the neurons that act in the "reward pathway," which comprise the cellular circuit that is responsible for drug addiction.
Unit: Neurobiology

Christopher Wills, PhD
Professor of Biology
Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California at San Diego. He studies intriguing questions about evolution, such as, What is the evolutionary history of sex? Perhaps it originated as the incorporation by cells of exogenous genetic material. He is the author of several books, including Children of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution.
Unit: Human Evolution

Carl R. Woese, PhD
Professor of Microbiology
Professor Woese of the University of Illinois, is a self-described molecular biologist turned evolutionist. Woese used ribosomal RNA as an evolutionary record to identify archaea as a huge and diverse group, separate from the prokaryotes (bacteria) and the eukaryotes. As a result, the entire “Tree of Life” as we know it was re-drawn into these three domains.
Unit: Evolution and Phylogenetics

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