Recorded: 04 Jun 2001
The lab is still outstanding and still reckoned to be so. But it’s in a very competitive world. At that time [that I researched here] it was very, very unique. Now there are very many other major centers and some of them are much bigger. So it’s hard, it’s a little bit like EMBO’s [European Molecular Biology Organization’s] problem, how do you keep your uniqueness when everybody else is doing the same thing as you? Because of its historic significance, for me, there is always a sense of it [Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory] being different because of the connection I feel with it. I still see—with Bruce [Stillman] having been here all this time, he was brought up in that exact atmosphere and so he has those same values. You see it in the people that are hired here. I mean, I know Scott Lowe very well. He would have fitted in perfectly 20 years ago because he has the same, he’s very smart, he’s very enthusiastic, he likes to go out and party and he’s just completely in love with science. That’s the sort of people that you have, so I think those ideas are still there [at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory], so the same thing is there. People are very focused on science here and not on the other issues. Whereas, I think if you get into a big university, politics are the—I just find that people get sidetracked into ego problems. I think if you ask people here, they would never do anything to damage the institution so they would fight with each other but they would fight for CSHL against anybody else, so there’s a real sense of unity.
David Lane, immunologist, is the Director of the Cancer Research UK Transformation Research Group at the University of Dundee, Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology at the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. Lane founded the Department of Surgery and Oncology in the University’s Medical School with Alfred Cucheiri, one of the pioneers in minimal access ("keyhole") surgery. Currently on leave from the University of Dundee, he the Executive Director of the IMCB in Singapore. Lane is also the founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cyclacel, a Dundee based biotechnology company now listed on the NASDAQ. Shortly after receiving his Ph.D., he was recruited by Joe Sambrook to work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with the Tumor Virus Group in the 70’s, where he also completed one of his books on antibodies. In 2000, Lane was knighted by Queen Elizabeth of England for his many contributions to science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the University College London.