Recorded: 29 May 2003
I’ve known Bruce probably for fifteen years. I think he’s remarkable in really two ways. He thinks about biology very, very deeply and I think the research he’s done has been pioneering. And I think it is reflected in the nature of his collaborations and the other scientists that he’s inspired and so forth. And I think second, anyone that takes on the directorship of Cold Spring Harbor has to be really a remarkable person to deal with the diverse constituencies and at the same time keep the science going and everything. So I have enormous respect for Bruce as this combination administrator, scientist. And I think he is a scientist who’s maintained the leadership in his field and he certainly is one of the ones that’s looked to from all around the country when you want to get together a small group of people to talk about something important and interesting in science. So I think Cold Spring Harbor is quite fortunate that Bruce has remained for—I think he’s been here thirty years or something like that. So he’s certainly a wonderful successor to Jim [Watson]. Although very, very different from Jim. I mean, Jim has no equals. It would be very, very difficult to replace him in personality, in attitude and style quite obviously.
Leroy Hood, a leading scientist in molecular biotechnology and genomics, received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School (1964) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Caltech (1968). In 1992, after more than 20 years as a faculty member at Caltech, where he and his colleagues revolutionized genomics by developing automated DNA sequencing, he relocated to the University of Washington to establish the cross-disciplinary Department of Molecular Biotechnology.
Dr. Hood is currently President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle where he leads efforts to pioneer systems approaches to biology and medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received the Lasker Award for his studies on the mechanism of immune diversity.
Sharing an interest in the study of antibody diversity, Hood and Watson met in 1967 when Hood attended his first meeting at CSHL. Leroy has been working on the genome since the late 70’s. He went to the first official genome meeting in Santa Cruz in 1985 and has attended all of the subsequent meetings which have been held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.