Recorded: 01 May 2000
Jeff: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has at least doubled, maybe tripled the size it was when we went there. So the issue of laboratory space was a significant one because, in a sense, the idea of going to Cold Spring Harbor, as I said, derived from this: Where could Jim [Hicks] and I go and get together and continue to work without some other P.I. being in the way? Cold Spring Harbor was sort of the answer to that, but in order to be able to go there, we had to agree to work in the old building, that was used for the summer courses.
That, of course, had wonderful history of other people who had worked in there. That is, I was always impressed by the fact that the incubator we used for yeast said John Cairns on it… I couldn’t imagine taking ethanol or acetone and wiping that name off the door, it was just part of the history that I really liked.
But the summer courses really were both the opportunity for us to come there—the yeast course had been taught there already for seven years, I think—seven or eight years—so some of the equipment was there. Autoclaves, microscopes, and things of that nature. We accumulated a little more- borrowed it from around the laboratory to get things started. For nine months a year, or ten months a year, we had this charming little building eighty feet from the water, that we could do science in the gregarious and energy-driven fashion that was the hallmark of the yeast group for a long time.
Amar Klar and Jeff Strathern worked together in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast group from 1977 till 1984 where they made outstanding discoveries about the mechanism of mating type switching in yeast.
Amar Klar, is a leading yeast geneticist, concerned with the molecular biology of gene silencing and mating-type switching. Klar came from India to the University of Wisconsin in 1975 to receive his Ph.D. in bacteriology. From 1977 to 1984, he worked with Jeff Strathern and Jim Hicks in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast Group studying the mechanism of mating type switching. Klar served as Director of the Delbruck laboratory from 1985 to 1988.
He left Cold Spring Harbor to join the ABL-Basic Research Program as Head of the Developmental Genetics Section. In 1999, Klar joined the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research and is now a Principal Investigator in the Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory at NCI-CCR.
Jeffrey Strathern, a leading yeast geneticist, obtained his Ph.D. from the Molecular Biology Institute at the University of Oregon in 1977 and then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he became a Senior Staff Member with the yeast genetics laboratory.
In 1984, he joined the ABL-Basic Research Program at the NCI-FCRDC. His research remains centered on aspects of gene regulation and genetic recombination as revealed by studies in yeast. In 1999, Strathern joined the Division of Basic Sciences, NCI. Strathern worked together with Amar Klar and Jim Hicks in the Cold Spring Harbor Yeast group from 1977 to 1984 where they made outstanding discoveries about the mechanism of mating type switching in yeast.