Recorded: 04 Jun 2001
First of all, you have to understand that I never had a job description, either written or oral. So the job of assistant lab director, as far as I could tell, was really to look after the courses, and the summer program, and fix things when they didn’t work. And there was very little formal discussion about scientific directions or who was coming; it was all very informal, so that job title is much fancier and more concrete than any other job I ever had. It was clear on a day-to-day basis on what type of things I would worry about, and that worked just fine.
Raymond Gesteland, biologist, has made progress in describing essential mechanisms for controlled gene expression. His research on recoding provides insight into replication of RNA viruses such as HIV and the genetic code. Gesteland also concentrates on ribosome function and response to mRNA signals.
He received a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University. After working at Alfred Tissières Laboratory in Geneva, in 1967, Gesteland arrived at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work under Jim Watson as Assistant Director for Research.
Gesteland is currently Vice President for Research, Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, and Chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah.