Bruce Roe on Advice to Young Scientists
  Bruce Roe     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

Work hard and play hard, okay? Get serious about your work, all right? I’m actually very disturbed. There was a recent study that just came out and I saw it on 60 Minutes, in fact, the other night. And very disturbed. That now men are in the minority, all right? Which is kind of scary as a man. But that’s okay. We need to do something now that we did twenty years ago to get women interested in science. We need now to start getting men interested in science. Seventy five percent of my lab is women. Fifteen percent of my lab is a minority, underrepresented minorities, okay? And, you know, you can’t get a man interested in science? I don’t know what men want to do today. They want to go out in the business world and make money, all right? But we need to have everyone be interested in science. This is a democracy. We have an educated democracy. And we need to have people who understand these great principles that we are testing. And the science that we are producing. I run into people in the grocery store and they know about the genome because they read about what we do and what others do in the newspaper. So it’s an exciting time and it’s great that people actually have some feel for what we do. They see me and they say well, I don’t really understand what you do, but I like the idea that you’re doing it. And, hopefully, you’ll cure this disease. You know, we have two friends right now both of whom have been diagnosed within the last month with one kind of cancer or another. And, you know, it’s really scary. So we need to come up with better tests, earlier tests for these diseases so that we can get rid of these crazy cells that go awry very, very early. And the genome project is leading to that. It’s amazing the number of tests, okay?

Bruce Roe is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a Ph.D in biochemistry from the University of Western Michigan and received a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship to research at SUNY Stony Brook. He spent his 1978-79 sabbatical at Fred Sanger’s lab, where he helped develop the renowned method of DNA sequencing currently used today.

Roe is founding director of the Advanced Center for Genomic Technology (ACGT) at the U. of Oklahoma, one of the first large-scale sequencing facilities in the US. At present, the ACGT innovates computational and robotic methods to analyze DNA sequence results and is currently determining the nucleotide sequence of five microbial genomes. In 1999, Roe’s research led to the elucidation and publication of the complete sequence of human chromosome 22. This was the first human chromosome to be sequenced in its entirely.

He has attended genome meetings and symposia at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for over 20 years.