Peter Little on Meeting Jim Watson
  Peter Little     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

Jim has always been there. I’ve no idea when it first was. It’s generally very difficult to tell. I mean Jim at these meetings, for instance, has always been there. And he appears some years, occasionally he didn’t. But he would just roll in and stand at the side of the room and sometimes he made contributions, other times he would say nothing. But as, of course, as the project became more serious then he became more and more prominent.

So, he was always there. He was clearly an iconic individual. And so when seeing him for the first time is really exciting. I mean it’s very clear that Watson and Crick have a position in science which is unique. I mean it’s not because of their qualities as scientists necessarily, the discovery they made was simply of a different dimension to the other discoveries that have given people Nobel Prizes. Which I think is a very fascinating area that’s why it’s so iconic. But it is one of the very few iconic things in the world. So, he’s always been there was my feeling.

Peter Little is a bioinformatics researcher, professor of medical biochemistry and the head of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He received his Ph.D. working with recombinant DNA under Ed Southern and Peter Walker at Edinburgh University. In 1976, Little cloned a human gene – the second time this was ever accomplished.

Little’s laboratory studies the genetic basis of gene expression, and genetic variation as it pertains to the regulatory regions of the genes. He has hypothesized that there are two types of genetic variation that alter gene expression. His lab has also created advanced techniques for testing genetically influenced transcript variations.

He comes to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory regularly for genome meetings and symposia.