Recorded: 01 Aug 2003
Yeah, this place is unique. I think what’s different about it is that the collection of courses and meetings that is offered here spans a broader amount of science. So you get an extremely wide view of biomedical sciences compared to other places and other meetings. I think it’s partly because of that, that you wind up drawing a very wide spectrum and a Who’s Who of scientists across all these disciplines over the course of a year or a few [through] all the various courses that are offered. So in many disciplines in medical sciences there are numerous scientists who are aware of this place, like it, enjoy coming here for the meeting, etc. That tends to be the draw and a continual broad attraction to get people here. The effect for any single meeting on any single topic is that you usually get most of the people who are the shakers and rollers in that field at the time. That means that is an outright clearinghouse for all the new ideas that are occurring in the emerging fields. That’s what the lab has always been focused on is exactly that—to bring together those best minds in merging issues and fields to try to stimulate the growth of that field. It’s worked over and over again in every field from neuroscience to cancer, of course.
Tim Tully is a molecular geneticist, interested in finding the genetic and biological basis of memory in order to better identify pharmacological and behavioral treatments for memory loss. In 1981, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Tully joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory staff in 1991 to work on discovering genes involved with memory. He became the St. Giles Foundation Professor of Neuroscience and led the Drosophila learning and memory program. In 1998 he founded Helicon Therapeutics, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology firm that works on new therapies for memory loss and other cognition disorders. In June, 2007, Tully left Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to become Helicon's Acting Chief Scientific Officer, and assume a key role in the Michigan-based Dart Foundation as it expands its interest in funding neuroscience research.
His work on the transcriptional factor CREB gave way to the first experimental demonstration of enhanced memory formation in genetically engineered animals. Tully works to identify genes involved with long-term memory formation. Tully has determined that by the regulation of gene expression, new, long-term memories can be formed due to the growth of new synapses.