Memories of mRNA splicing

Throughout the meeting, we learned of the experiences of participants and we would like to have a record of these, and the recollections of others, so that the story of mRNA splicing can be as complete and rich as possible. If If you have memories of your work on splicing, please share them with us by send your story to Mila Pollock at or by using the form below. We will review all contributions.

Philip A. Sharp

Oct 22,2017

The Journey to RNA Splicing and the Spliceosome

Jan Witkowski

Nov 8, 2017

This was a particularly interesting meeting for me. Some years ago, I published an account of the discovery of mRNA splicing, treating it as revolution in science as described by Thomas Kuhn and elaborated on by Richard Westfall. Here is a link to a modified version of the manuscript. I would now want to revise it, in particular giving much more attention to Jim Darnell’s work on heterogeneous nuclear RNA. Nevertheless, as was clear from the presentations at the 2017 meeting, splicing continues to be a fascinating episode in the biological sciences.

Thoru Pederson

Nov 9, 2017

U1 and U2 base-pairing with hnRNA in vivo

Manny Ares

Dec 1, 2017

How yeast U2 was accidentally discovered

Thoru Pederson

Dec 5, 2017

An Amazing Meeting Arrangement in Messenger RNA Genes

Convened at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on October 22-25, 2017, "40 Years of mRNA Splicing: From Discovery to Therapeutics" was one in a series of meetings held by the Laboratory's Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (, organized by Mila Pollock, Executive Director of Library and Archives and on this occasion co-organized by Phil Sharp (MIT) and Joan Steitz (Yale) (Fig. 1). In coming up with a title for this report, I couldn't resist punning that of one of the two seminal papers (Berget et al., 1977; Chow et al., 1977).

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The CSHL Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology aims to explore important themes of discovery in the biological sciences. Its conference series brings together scientists who made many of the seminal discoveries that began a field along with others whose interests may include the current status of the field, historical progress in the field, and/or application of classic techniques and approaches in modern biotechnology and medicine.