Recorded: 08 Aug 2001
I was a post doc then and Jeff was a couple of years behind as a graduate student. Ray was visiting Cornell and asked what I was going to do and I’d been on one job interview and didn’t like the idea. And I said that I would just like to get together with my partner, Jeff, who was still back in Ira’s lab and work somewhere. And Ray was the one who suggested Cold Spring Harbor. He said that there wasn’t much space but there was the Davenport building we might be able to use that during the winter if we wanted to write a grant to do that. And I said, “Great! But how can we get Jeff there?” And he said, “What if I take him on as a post doc cause I’m interested in it too.” So I started working on the grant and Jeff wrote a postdoctoral application for Ray. Physically he came here first but Ray’s presentation to Jim [Watson] was that we were coming here together. I was the P.I. [Principal Investigator] on the grant just because Jeff hadn’t done a post doc yet. He had to do a post doc to get credibility for being his own P.I. Although we wrote the grants together he was technically a post doc with Ray for the first year until Ray left. Then, actualy I became his official post doc advisor for a year because there had to be somebody who had a real job. I had actually a faculty appointment.
James Hicks is a pioneer in the field of yeast genetics. He earned his Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Oregon, working with Ira Herskowitz.
Hicks researched with Jeff Strathern and Amar Klar 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.
Hicks is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of ViroGenomics, a Portland biotech company that is searching for new treatments for chronic and acute viral disease.