Joan Steitz on Teaching
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

It plays a pretty important role because it forces you to think about things that aren’t in your immediate own sort of myopic focused area. So doing things like being involved in one of the revisions of The Molecular Biology of the Gene with Jim and teaching undergraduates which is mostly which I had done in terms of my teaching responsibilities at Yale has been very—I think it’s very important because you tune into things that maybe aren’t specifically relevant but turn out to shape your thinking about how to do something or how to approach something that you just don’t get if you do nothing but do research or think about research.

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).