Joan Steitz on Jim Watson & Francis Crick: Discovering the Double Helix
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

Again the whole idea of what are the important questions. And how do you think about the important questions. And what constitutes a way of approaching an important question; they are very, very similar. So, you know, one would have loved to have been a fly on the ceiling at the time when they were actually interacting and discussing which model for DNA was right. It must have been absolutely fabulous. But I can’t imagine very much beyond what I know has been sort of imprinted on me by reading what Jim has written about it, what Francis has written about it. What, you know, other people have observed.

Joan Steitz is a prominent molecular biologist who earned her Ph.D. under Jim Watson at Harvard University in 1967. She joined the faculty at Yale University in 1970 and is currently the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the Director of the Molecular Genetics Program at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale. She is also an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Steitz’s research involves determining the structure and function of small RNA-protein complexes.

She has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (1986), the Weizmann Women and Science Award (1994), the Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research (1999), the UNESCO-L'Oréal Women in Science Award (2001), and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (2002).