Raymond Gesteland on Jim Watson as Director of CSHL
  Raymond Gesteland     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

I couldn’t tell how much time. He’d certainly come and go a lot. And sometimes he would come down to talk about administrative things and I might not see him; other times he would come poke around the Lab. So I couldn’t really tell you how often he got down, because sometimes he’d come and I wouldn’t see him and sometimes I would. It didn’t have much affect on the scientific life at all. Most of the early activity was trying to figure out the finances, and trying to find some commitments to begin patching the place together. So, it was pretty clear that Jim saw both the scientific opportunity of the cancer virus as a great model system of really understanding something about cancer, but also the opportunity of raising money. Clearly there was going to be money going into the war on cancer, and that was the way to rescue the place, eventually.

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.