Mary Jane Gething on 1980 Canberra Cloning Meeting
  Mary Jane Gething     Biography    
Recorded: 16 Jan 2003

And then at a marvelous meeting in Australia that Joe came to as well that. I think that was about 1980 perhaps, something like that. And Rob, not Rob Laver. He’s the tennis player. Graham Laver who is a flu biologist had arranged this meeting in Thredboe, which is ski resort out of Canberra. And it was rather tense going there because all these other people cloning were sort of your competitors and yet we all needed each other because of what the science would be the comparison between all the sequencing. And Graham did a marvelous thing. There was a bar downstairs and he put corkboard all around the walls and he sent all of the sequencing people down on the first evening with a large keg of beer. And he’d made—this was before all computer alignments of course, I think Rick Staden (?) was just starting to do the computer programs that would allow alignments. But he had made million of cards with the amino acid names on them and we had to go around these corkboards pinning up all you know two thousand nucleotides or whatever it was. No, no, it was the sequence, so it was all three hundred four hundred, amino acids, five hundred and fifty amino acids, I think around and getting drunk at the same time from this keg of beer. And by the end we were all the best of friends and saying “Oh, you got an alanine there, I got a glutamic.” So we could see the differences between these hemagglutins appearing on the pin board as we put it up. It was marvelous.

Mary-Jane Gething, biochemist is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne where she earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1974. Subsequently she went to Cambridge to do post-doctoral work.

In 1976, she moved to London to work on protein sequencing and in 1980, Gething and Joseph Sambrook received a NATO grant for travel to collaborate on virus research. She began working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1982 where she continued her research of proteins. In 1985, Gething and Sambrook moved to Dallas to work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. They moved back to Australia in 1994.

Her current research involves protein folding in the cell and the role of molecular chaperone BiP.