Recorded: 23 Apr 2001
I came in the fall of ’64 and left in summer of ’69. The Golden Age. The lab was starting to diminish. Jim was now director of Cold Spring Harbor. It went on for a few more years until he was here and not at Harvard any more. The most exciting time was the transition—the end of the translation period when they were finding suppressor tRNAs, Jerry Adams finding a formyl methionier as the initiator of translation. It was a very good group there and into the transcription, and starting into the Lambda group with Jeff Roberts, Roger Hendrix, Jan Pero and other people. It was interesting [because] there were phases, I don’t know exactly what the phase was early on, but it was ribosomes when I came, and moved into the R17 RNA phage, and then it moved into polymerase, and then into Lambda. I’m not sure – maybe [those times] were ended.
Richard Burgess is a geneticist who has been an important figure in cancer, microbial, and molecular research. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University under Jim Watson in 1969 and went on to work with Alfred Tissieres at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
He is currently researching RNA polymerases, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), molecular genetics, computer-based sequence and structure analysis, and biochemistry at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Reaearch at the University of Wisconsin.