Recorded: 04 Jun 2001
So when I think about different symposia that happened here—I don’t know how much the symposia has changed and how much is me changing, of course, but whatever changes have happened, the Symposium is still a uniquely exciting event compared to other scientific meetings. There’s something different about the level of expectation and the level of expertise that is on stage at this Symposium. Certainly many of the Symposia have been very tense, often contentious, because – as they do so well – they take very current topics that are purposely right at a breaking point which maximizes the drama, the intrigue and the contentiousness. I think certainly the summer Symposia were much more maybe casual and freewheeling and crazy than some of the more recent ones. I think that John Cairns encouraged a much more causal style of behavior at Symposia than is currently the style, but the intellectual content, excitement and the rigor continues.
Raymond Gesteland, biologist, has made progress in describing essential mechanisms for controlled gene expression. His research on recoding provides insight into replication of RNA viruses such as HIV and the genetic code. Gesteland also concentrates on ribosome function and response to mRNA signals.
He received a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University. After working at Alfred Tissières Laboratory in Geneva, in 1967, Gesteland arrived at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work under Jim Watson as Assistant Director for Research.
Gesteland is currently Vice President for Research, Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, and Chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah.