Charles Gilbert on Becoming a Scientist
  Charles Gilbert     Biography    
Recorded: 08 Sep 1999

I planned to be in science since I was four years old. I had sort of this idea that I was going to be a “physician-scientist.”. That’s right. And so it was going to be a dream of mine from a very early age. And so I was kind of doggedly pursuing that goal for my entire life. So it wasn’t that it sort of brought me into science where I hadn’t initially intended to be in science; but perhaps it really helped reinforce my commitment towards science because at the end of medical school I had decided that I wouldn’t really be able to be as effective as a scientist or as a clinician if I tried to really pursue them both. And so although I finished the MD, I decided that after finishing medical school I’d also get a PhD.

I decided that we should really should focus my efforts on research primarily. And even if my interests are ultimately to do research that has considerable clinical relevance, I didn’t think that it was necessary to have an ongoing medical practice in order to fulfill that goal.

Charles Gilbert is a Head of Laboratory of Neurobiology at Rockefeller University and Arthur and Janet Ross Professor of Neuroscience at The Rockefeller University. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D from Harvard University. In 1993 he joined Rockefeller University as assistant professor and head of laboratory. In 1985 he became associate professor and professor in 1991.

Gilbert's research focus on the brain mechanisms of visual perception and learning, including the specific role of the brain’s primary visual cortex in analyzing visual images and in processing visual memory.

He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Posit Science Corporation and member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the W. Alden Spencer Award from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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