Recorded: 04 Aug 2003
Well, Jim is a remarkable person in terms of being an administrator who has, as I’ve already mentioned, incredible insight into what’s important and directions things should be going. The way in which he wooed the Long Island community to get their involvement and bring support to the lab is sort of quintessential Jim. So it’s a mixture of being brilliant and being eccentric. And being convincing that this is something that is worth supporting. And he’s done an absolutely remarkable job when I watch him interact with the people, the local people who are on the board of trustees. And what he’s done in terms of building the lab and setting new directions, say, in neurobiology and plant biology and so on. But he always seems to have this—he’s always known exactly where the important things were going to come from next.
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).