Gerald Rubin on Satisfaction in Science
  Gerald Rubin     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

I think as a scientist you learn to take tiny pleasures in anytime, anything works, right? Every experiment, you know, can be a pleasure even if it’s not important. Its the pleasure of doing something. It’s like being a cook and cooking a good meal, right? I mean you would have this pleasure because you’re doing something with your hands as sort of digging in the garden. Its so satisfying, but we all hope to do something that’s important, significant, new, interesting. And the feeling from doing that, well, obviously it’s extremely satisfying. One feels extremely lucky because a lot of things you have to be in the right place at the right time. It’s a matter of, you know, circumstances coming together and putting pieces together and being there. But it’s great. I mean it’s what you’re in the field for is to get this feeling. And you only have to have one or two of those things in your career to make all the lean years worthwhile.

Gerald Rubin is a geneticist, molecular and cell biologist. As Director of the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, he led the sequencing of the entire fruit fly genome. Currently, as Vice President and Director of the Janelia Farm Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia, his research focus is on developing the biological and computer tools that are capable of analyzing and displaying the vast amount of information available from the genomic DNA sequencing of the fruit fly. He uses these advanced techniques to decipher gene regulation and expression at a genome-wide level in Drosophila and determine the function of certain fruit fly genes.

Gerald Rubin is also a professor of Genetics and Development at the University of California, Berkeley. He came to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as an URP (Undergraduate Research Program) in the early 70’s working under Lionel Crawford and Ray Gesteland before moving to Cambridge to earn his Ph.D. in molecular biology. He did postdoctoral work at Stanford University School of Medicine and became an assistant professor of biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School prior to commencing his genetics professorship at Berkeley in 1983.

Gerald Rubin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. Among the awards he has received is the American Chemical Society Eli Lilly Award in biological chemistry.