Raymond Gesteland on Joan Steitz at Jim Watson’s Lab
  Raymond Gesteland     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

In the same lab were Mario Capecchi and Gary Gussin, and then Peter Norton was down the hall, John Richardson, Wally Gilbert had just started work in the lab next to Jim’s office, who else was there? Fred Goldberg came a little later, Joan Steitz started; did she tell you her story of her interviewing Jim to work in his lab? …The story as she told it to me was that she asked him to work in his lab and he said, “No, you are a woman.” I don’t know how he finally relented to let her work in the lab, but it’s so hard to imagine that being married or being a woman was the discriminatory issue.

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.