Recorded: 28 May 2003
How many times have I been at Cold Spring Harbor? I would say. I was here for a whole year on sabbatical from ’74 to ’75. I taught the bacterial genetics course for five years from ’75 to ’80, maybe it was six years, you’ll have to look it up in the archives. It seemed like a lot of years. I think it was ’75 to ’80. I came to phage meetings for at least twenty years. I came to yeast meetings for ten or twenty years. I came to the symposium at least a dozen times. And then sometimes I came here just to talk to people. So I don’t know, add it up!
There’s lots and lots of meetings, of course. I came here beside yeast meetings and phage meetings, although those are the bread and butter meetings.
David Botstein is a prominent geneticist whose advocacy for gene mapping was crucial in laying the groundwork for the Human Genome Project. Botstein received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan for his research on bacteriophage synthesis. As a member of the MIT faculty he continued working with phage P22 DNA and discovered many bacterial and yeast genes. He served as Vice President of Science at Genentech before becoming professor at the Stanford School of Medicine where he led in sequencing the first large eucaryotic genome.
On July 1, 2003 he was appointed as Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University. At Princeton he will continue to expound upon genome projects, explore the relationship between genes within the genome, and uncover how diseases like cancer alter the expression of genes.
Botstein researched at the CSHL while on sabbatical from 1974-1975. At the 1986 CSHL symposium on Human Genetics he played a crucial role in advocating for the Human Genome Project. While serving on the National Research Council Committee he emphasized that money be laid aside to fund the sequencing of other simpler organisms with which the human genome can be compared. Like Jim Watson, he has passionately supported the Human Genome Project since its inception.