Gerald Rubin on Alfred Hershey
  Gerald Rubin     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

Al Hershey I met when I was here, but when I was in Ray Gesteland’s lab I needed a blendor. And he said to go to the shed and look if there are any blendors there. And I actually came back with this little metal blendor. And he said, oh, my god. This is the blendor from the Hershey-Chase experiment because it had radioactive ____store for decay and for the next four years this blendor sat on Ray Gesteland’s desk with his pencils in it as his pencil holder, and then finally I guess it went to the museum. Narrator: Now it is in our archives. Now it’s in an exhibition. Gerry Rubin: Well, I found it in just some used equipment shed. He said maybe there’s a blendor in there. And then I brought it back, cause it’s this funny little metal blendor. I’d never seen a little metal—and then it, you know, said P32—and then he realized from what was on the label it had been put away there for radioactive decay, to become decontaminated.

Gerald Rubin is a geneticist, molecular and cell biologist. As Director of the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, he led the sequencing of the entire fruit fly genome. Currently, as Vice President and Director of the Janelia Farm Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia, his research focus is on developing the biological and computer tools that are capable of analyzing and displaying the vast amount of information available from the genomic DNA sequencing of the fruit fly. He uses these advanced techniques to decipher gene regulation and expression at a genome-wide level in Drosophila and determine the function of certain fruit fly genes.

Gerald Rubin is also a professor of Genetics and Development at the University of California, Berkeley. He came to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as an URP (Undergraduate Research Program) in the early 70’s working under Lionel Crawford and Ray Gesteland before moving to Cambridge to earn his Ph.D. in molecular biology. He did postdoctoral work at Stanford University School of Medicine and became an assistant professor of biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School prior to commencing his genetics professorship at Berkeley in 1983.

Gerald Rubin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Among the awards he has received is the American Chemical Society Eli Lilly Award in biological chemistry.