Merilyn Sleigh on Barbara McClintock
  Merilyn Sleigh     Biography    
Recorded: 17 Jan 2003

Well, of course, Barbara McClintock who was there as well. And [a] little bit of a remote character. I didn’t certainly personally interact with her very much although I do remember that she had a great liking for banjo music which I also liked so I know we had a conversation about banjo music once. But she was there and really not interacting so much, only with special people that she really got along with but still there as this major figure.

She was not an easy person to interact with actually, I think. She was of course quite old already by then and had withdrawn very much into her own interests and wasn’t what you would call an integral part of the lab. She really just had a small number of people that she interacted with. So she wasn’t somebody that you would meet on a daily basis.

Merilyn Sleigh is a pharmacologist, molecular biologist and dean in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of New South Wales. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Sydney in pharmacology and another PhD in molecular biology at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), she came to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work under Joe Sambrook as a postdoctoral fellow researching the protein production of SV40. She returned to CSIRO, establishing one of the first laboratories in Australia using genetic engineering approaches to study influenza virus structure, evolution and gene regulation. She has become involved in developing the biotechnological industry in Australia. Sleigh is founding director of the Australian Biotechnology Association and is currently Chief Executive of EvoGenix, a start-up biotechnology company located in Australia.