Recorded: 01 Jun 2003
I’ve known Ray Gesteland for many years now. I think what’s really remarkable about Ray is his deep sense of integrity and his deep sense of sincerity. Ray actually played a major role on some of the advisory boards for the Human Genome Project. And I think what was quite remarkable is that kind of common sense, down to earth mentality exhibited when controversial and difficult kinds of issues came up.
And the other thing I’ve always liked about Ray is that he lives in a delightful house in a canyon outside of Salt Lake City that’s just kind of a wonderful place to go away to, comfortable, informal, it reflects very, very much his personality.
And of course the science he’s done over the years in bacterial genetics and RNA editing has been just first rate.
Leroy Hood, a leading scientist in molecular biotechnology and genomics, received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School (1964) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Caltech (1968). In 1992, after more than 20 years as a faculty member at Caltech, where he and his colleagues revolutionized genomics by developing automated DNA sequencing, he relocated to the University of Washington to establish the cross-disciplinary Department of Molecular Biotechnology.
Dr. Hood is currently President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle where he leads efforts to pioneer systems approaches to biology and medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received the Lasker Award for his studies on the mechanism of immune diversity.
Sharing an interest in the study of antibody diversity, Hood and Watson met in 1967 when Hood attended his first meeting at CSHL. Leroy has been working on the genome since the late 70’s. He went to the first official genome meeting in Santa Cruz in 1985 and has attended all of the subsequent meetings which have been held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.