Winship Herr on Accepting Students to WSBS
  Winship Herr     Biography    
Recorded: 09 Jul 2004
Jim was always very good about meeting with all the students. Jim had very strong opinions about all the students. He shared them with me. That was extremely stressful because he would say, you should accept so and so, he always thought we should accept more people. Every year, no matter what the limit was, you know, whether it was 9 students or 12 students or 15 students we were accepting, there was always somebody [else] we should accept. It was very stressful.

I remember that first year there was a student from Thailand that he thought should be accepted. And he just kept after me and kept after me. And the faculty and the admissions committee really hadn’t been that enthusiastic about that particular student. And I’ll never forget because Jim would always refer to Thailand as Siam. He used the old English empire name.

But at the end of the day, we got more students than we expected or that we had aimed for. We had aimed for 5 and we had 6. I’ll never forget, you know, April 15th because that was the deadline for graduate students deciding where they are going to go. That also coincides often with an executive committee meeting, the third Friday of the month, so I got to report to the committee who came and on that evening afterwards Jim in his office congratulated me on, that it had gone well. Even though we had disagreed and thought that we should accept more people.

Winship Herr, director of the University of Lausanne School of Biology and member of EMBO. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California in 1974 and Ph.D. for studies on recombinant retroviruses in leukemogenic mice with Walter Gilbert from Harvard University in 1982. He completed his postdoctoral research studies in Cambridge (England) with Frederick Sanger and with Joe Sambrook in Cold Spring Harbor. After that he joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faculty in 1984. From 1994 till 2002 he was an assistant director of the Laboratory and founding dean of the Watson School of Biological Sciences from 1998 till 2004. He is a professor of the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanne.

Winship Herr is a former National Science Foundation predoctoral fellow, Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow, and Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Biological Sciences.

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