Edward Lewis on A Typical Day
  Edward Lewis     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

My day…I haven’t recently been swimming because I don’t have a lot of lung power. I try to get to the gym in the morning. I used to do a lot of jogging but I’ve slowed down mainly because of problems with knees and stuff. But I never used to exercise when I was young. I started at age 60 so I still do that. I try to get a lot done in the morning because we don’t have private secretaries here [and] people call and waste your time. People that want to call up and interview [you].

Then I go to lunch, which is a big experience everyday. I generally have virgin flies to collect in the morning and then we make out matings in the warm room, the regulated temperature room. So then during the afternoon I am doing some mixture of drosophila, genetics, and computer work. At night [I do] the computer because it’s less distracting. I get a nap usually from 6-8 or 6-9 and come back to work until 12 or 1 a.m. and get up at 9 in the morning.

We go to a lot of operas—three last weekend, two in San Francisco and one here. Chamber music groups.

Edward B. Lewis (1918-2004) was a renowned leader in genetics and Drosophila development research. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1942. He served as captain of the United States Army Air Force from 1942-1945 as a meteorologist and an oceanographer in the Pacific Theatre. In 1946, he joined the Caltech faculty and was appointed Professor of Biology in 1956, earning a Thomas Hunt Morgan Professorship in 1966. In 1995, Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development” along with Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus. Lewis is also a recipient of the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal (1983), the Gairdner Foundation International award (1987), the Wolf Foundation prize in medicine (1989), the Rosenstiel award (1990) and the National Medal of Science (1990).