Karin Moelling on Jim Watson and Joe Sambrook
  Karin Moelling     Biography    
Recorded: 06 Jun 2006

So the main story about Jim Watson was when he called me and said ‘I thought you told us a new story and now everybody tells us this story.’ So that was part of it. Drew [unintelligible] was always around we discussed many things together, also with Walter Keller and I had, I lived in those days in West Berlin which was totally cut-off from everything. So this place was visited by, for instance Max Delbruck, he came every year, but also there were people in East Berlin who had worked on SV40, the virus which was the main virus in Cold Spring Harbor, so they wanted to send some dry-ice packages to East Berlin and they couldn’t get it through. So I got the dry-ice packages and I had to bring them to East Berlin to the not even customs, that was a very strict border, and a friend of mine, he said we take that chance and we take a book, and we took [unintelligible] and we put it in the, under the cover of the car because we were expecting, I was absorbing the tension of the custom people so much with the dry-ice package from Cold Spring Harbor they would not analyze our car and this was true. So even nowadays when I get over they say ‘fifty, sixty people have seen [unintelligible] book from those days,’ but I was a little scared, but we managed. So that was connection by Joe, he is very often sent material to East Berlin and I have East Berlin people for instance, I had [unintelligible] to get an invitation to Cold Spring Harbor, so I was kind of the carrier between East and West.

Karin Moelling currently retired professor, still affiliated with the University of Zurich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. She studied molecular biology at the University of Berkely, Califonia. She received her PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Virology at Tübingen in Germany. She did two post-doctoral research at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin (1973-1975), and at the Institute of Virology, University Giessen. In 1977 she received her Habilitation at the University of Giessen in Biophysics on "Replication of retroviruses".

From 1976 till 1981 she was the Head of Independent Research Group at Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, on oncogenes, proto-oncogenes, cancer and HIV. In 1993 she became the Director of Institute of Medical Virology (IMV) and Full Professor at University of Zurich in Switzerland, she held this position till 2008. Between 2008-2009 she was Fellow of Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin and between 2008-2011 she became a Group Leader, Viruses and Cancer at University of Zurich.

Her research focus on retroviruses and cancer from molecular mechanisms to drug design. She is a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. She received several awards e.g. SwissAward in 2007, 4 prices: Czerny Price, Richtzenhain Price, Meyenburg Price and Ansman Price. She was Selected as Heisenberg Fellow in German Science Foundation.