Recorded: 01 Jun 2001
Harry Noller: Yeah, well, the first I heard of Winship was from Rick Davern. He said: “There’s this bright bloke from Berkeley who came and looked around with his mother and I think he wants to come here.” That was probably when you were just casing the joint.
Winship Herr: In my junior year—the summer between junior and senior year—you go out and you check the schools and I went out to Santa Cruz, and Cedric Davern was the provost at Crown, I think. And I so I went and had an interview with him and he happened to be a biologist, too. So I don’t remember whether I went with my mother or father, but, yesh, I remember that.
Harry Noller: The first time I actually met Winship was when he was a freshman, and we were masochists in those days: I was teaching five courses as an assistant professor. One of them was introductory biology and I had a couple of sections, and one of them—Winship was in the class. So there were about twenty students in the class and Winship had hair as long as the photograph of me, down to his waist, and I was teaching and all of a sudden this guy rudely interrupts me and just nails me with a question. Tough question—a challenge: “How do you know that?” Sort of, I forget what it was. “You can’t say that!” Well, I mumbled, obviously. I got through it. But there’s this guy I got to be careful of in the back. Later he was in my biochemistry class and, of course, he worked in the lab.
Winship Herr: But you used to also—because the science lab. So I ended up in a college called College Five, which is now called Porter, and I worked in the coffee shop after hours and it was between the science labs and you were living at married student apartments. And you would come by and get a milkshake or something. I remember serving you and I got to talk to you then. I think that was probably in my junior year. I think they were 25 cents for a milkshake.
Winship Herr, director of the University of Lausanne School of Biology and member of EMBO. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California in 1974 and Ph.D. for studies on recombinant retroviruses in leukemogenic mice with Walter Gilbert from Harvard University in 1982. He completed his postdoctoral research studies in Cambridge (England) with Frederick Sanger and with Joe Sambrook in Cold Spring Harbor. After that he joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faculty in 1984. From 1994 till 2002 he was an assistant director of the Laboratory and founding dean of the Watson School of Biological Sciences from 1998 till 2004. He is a professor of the Center for Integrative Genomics at the University of Lausanne.
Winship Herr is a former National Science Foundation predoctoral fellow, Rita Allen Foundation Scholar, Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow, and Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Biological Sciences.
Harry Noller, is best known for his work on on ribosomal RNA structure and function, currently the director of the University of California, Santa Cruz's Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA. He received his B.S. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon.
He received the Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Sciences together with Drs. Moore and Steitz for their research on the ribosome. Harry Noller has been awarded Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize granted by the Paul Ehrlich Foundation.
He is a member of National Academy of Science, RNA Society and American Academy of Art and Science.