Winship Herr on Receiving Degree Granting Authority from the New York State Education Department
  Winship Herr     Biography    
Recorded: 09 Jul 2004

The June trustees meeting probably was—you know, the second week of June it usually is—and then the first thing we did—no actually, this probably came before trustees meeting. So we called the New York State Education Department and talked to one of the rather influential people up there about our idea of having a graduate school. And, in fact, I remember that at the time what the Picower Institute had been emphasizing is that we try to focus on a very—on a niche that we could say that nobody else can do. So I was suggesting perhaps we should have a graduate program in quantitative biology because we had the symposia on quantitative biology. But Jim didn’t like that at all. He wanted to be the biological science.

Anyway, Morgan Browne and I had a teleconference call with the State Education Department. And they basically said things that would be interesting to have Cold Spring Harbor in their portfolio of educational institutions and such. So there was a positive response.

When the trustees agreed to go ahead what Morgan Browne and I did was to fly up to Albany and meet with the people, Barbara Minerton(??) in particular about going through the process of applying for a doctoral degree. And they gave us—we talked about deadlines, we said we’d like to be able to open the doors for the school in September 1999. That meant getting authorization a year ahead so we could recruit students. And it was a very fast schedule that we had. And they told us that.

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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