Joan Steitz on Predicting the Future
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

I’m terrible on the future. As I told you before I thought the human genome was dull and boring. I remember when I first heard about restriction enzymes which made cloning possible, and thinking they were really dull and boring and why would anyone want to work on them. And when you ask me about my future I know that I dare not really predict anything. I’ll get excited when something exciting comes along. And I hope that more exciting things will come along and in fact some pretty exciting things are happening in my lab right now. But I don’t know. I have no idea.

Joan Steitz is a prominent molecular biologist who earned her Ph.D. under Jim Watson at Harvard University in 1967. She joined the faculty at Yale University in 1970 and is currently the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the Director of the Molecular Genetics Program at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale. She is also an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Steitz’s research involves determining the structure and function of small RNA-protein complexes.

She has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (1986), the Weizmann Women and Science Award (1994), the Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research (1999), the UNESCO-L'Oréal Women in Science Award (2001), and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (2002).