Charles Gilbert on Undergraduate Research Program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  Charles Gilbert     Biography    
Recorded: 08 Sep 1999

Well, the URPs program was one of my first exposures to hands-on science, and it was a great experience for me because it was an opportunity to work in really a first rate laboratory—in a laboratory doing frontier science having come from the college where science was perhaps not the major emphasis. I went to a small college, Amherst College, which was a great place, but didn’t necessarily emphasis science to the degree to which it does now and to which other universities did at the time. So it was great to be able to complement my experiences at Amherst with the experience at Cold Spring Harbor. And I actually spend two summers at Cold Spring Harbor plus some portion of the years in-between to do some thesis work that I was working on. Sort of to combine between Amherst and Cold Spring Harbor. And so I really had a fairly extensive exposure to things that were going on at Cold Spring Harbor rat the time. Then I went on after going to Cold Spring Harbor to a combined MD/PhD program at Harvard; where I was really able to maintain my total immersion in science and continue my scientific development. But really Cold Spring Harbor or was the place where I was able to get it all started.

: It[the Undergraduate Research Program at CSHL] was already identified as a thing to do during the summer for students interested in science; and it wasn’t as if Amherst was completely divorced from science. It wasn't as if Amherst was completely divorced from science, there were very good scientists there who knew about the program and were able to recommend it. And it was probably advertised. I don’t remember in detail how I first heard of it, but it seemed to be an obvious thing to do at the time.

Charles Gilbert is a Head of Laboratory of Neurobiology at Rockefeller University and Arthur and Janet Ross Professor of Neuroscience at The Rockefeller University. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D from Harvard University. In 1993 he joined Rockefeller University as assistant professor and head of laboratory. In 1985 he became associate professor and professor in 1991.

Gilbert's research focus on the brain mechanisms of visual perception and learning, including the specific role of the brain’s primary visual cortex in analyzing visual images and in processing visual memory.

He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Posit Science Corporation and member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the W. Alden Spencer Award from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.