Joan Steitz on Jim Watson, Personality & Influence
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

Well, for one thing he’s brilliant! And for another thing he doesn’t, in a sense he doesn’t give a damn what other people think. But he does care very much what other people think. Every individual is an individual and Jim is just one of the exceptional individuals that can have a large impact on a lot of things and a lot of people. I can’t say exactly what it is that’s special.

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).