Merilyn Sleigh on Bob Tjian
  Merilyn Sleigh     Biography    
Recorded: 17 Jan 2003

Tij, of course, was also there at the time, [a] totally different personality, equally ambitious, incredibly capable but he somehow managed to keep himself quite separate from this sort of intense competition that went on between people in the lab and he did it in a number of ways. One was to choose a project area which was different from what everyone else was doing because he was a protein person. Everyone else was working on DNAs and RNAs in one way or another. So he had his own little niche. And he really carved this out for himself. Personally he was also much more detached from the lab. He was married, many of the other people weren’t married and he really had quite an active life outside of the lab with Claudia who is a fantastic person also. So he really quietly succeeded in a very determined fashion but outside this intense competition so he was a good counterbalance, a little bit more sanity that was there in the lab as well.

Merilyn Sleigh is a pharmacologist, molecular biologist and dean in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of New South Wales. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Sydney in pharmacology and another PhD in molecular biology at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), she came to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work under Joe Sambrook as a postdoctoral fellow researching the protein production of SV40. She returned to CSIRO, establishing one of the first laboratories in Australia using genetic engineering approaches to study influenza virus structure, evolution and gene regulation. She has become involved in developing the biotechnological industry in Australia. Sleigh is founding director of the Australian Biotechnology Association and is currently Chief Executive of EvoGenix, a start-up biotechnology company located in Australia.