Recorded: 01 May 2000
Amar: So I had really wonderful colleagues for ten years and wonderful support from Jim Watson and intellectual support from Barbara McClintock. She could see through all the DNA ____(??) and weird things we were doing with chromosomes. I think she was the best person. And she wrote me the best letter of recommendation one time. She told somebody: “Amar Klar is the only guy, hire him.” So, overall I remember that my resignation—Cold Spring Harbor wanted me to stay even after ten years—and Jim Watson is quick in negotiations too. So he took me aside and said, “Why do you want to leave?”
I said, “Well I came under the impression that you work here only for a few years and then move on.”
He said, “But, why?”
I said, “You have new colleagues at a new place and so forth and that’s why.”
And he said, “That doesn’t work! All your colleagues have left.”
And Jeff was kind enough and Steve—he was another guy—they said, “Look, we know you. You live there. We know what you do and we also know what you don’t do. This is a great place to raise your family.” The thing I got from Cold Spring Harbor is two beautiful, wonderful daughters—they are Cold Spring Harbor products—and one wife.” At the time of resigning, I remember writing to Jim Watson that if I am half as happy when I leave Cold Spring Harbor, I will be gravely happy. I think I am better than half happy so I am happy here too. Happy there also. So wherever I go, I think I will try to do the best so that there is happiness all around.
Amar Klar and Jeff Strathern worked together in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast group from 1977 till 1984 where they made outstanding discoveries about the mechanism of mating type switching in yeast.
Amar Klar, is a leading yeast geneticist, concerned with the molecular biology of gene silencing and mating-type switching. Klar came from India to the University of Wisconsin in 1975 to receive his Ph.D. in bacteriology. From 1977 to 1984, he worked with Jeff Strathern and Jim Hicks in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast Group studying the mechanism of mating type switching. Klar served as Director of the Delbruck laboratory from 1985 to 1988.
He left Cold Spring Harbor to join the ABL-Basic Research Program as Head of the Developmental Genetics Section. In 1999, Klar joined the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research and is now a Principal Investigator in the Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory at NCI-CCR.
Jeffrey Strathern, a leading yeast geneticist, obtained his Ph.D. from the Molecular Biology Institute at the University of Oregon in 1977 and then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he became a Senior Staff Member with the yeast genetics laboratory.
In 1984, he joined the ABL-Basic Research Program at the NCI-FCRDC. His research remains centered on aspects of gene regulation and genetic recombination as revealed by studies in yeast. In 1999, Strathern joined the Division of Basic Sciences, NCI. Strathern worked together with Amar Klar and Jim Hicks in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast group from 1977 to 1984 where they made outstanding discoveries about the mechanism of mating type switching in yeast.