Recorded: 04 Jun 2001
Right now we’re working on the mechanisms of import and export of DNA, RNA and proteins across the nuclear envelope in mammalian cells and ____ _____so its really nuclear transport. And the experimental system that we’re using is mainly HeLa cells, cultured cells and xenopus oocytes. We got into—you were asking how do I get into a field—about twenty years ago we started to get very interested in how small nuclear RNAs are made. And these are made in the nucleus and they’re exported to the cytoplasm where they mature and they go back into the nucleus. And so we worked a lot on transcription invitro, transcription invitvo, maturation and so forth. And then it became obvious that because these are moved from one cell compartment to the other, that would be a very good model system to study transport. And at the time we were already doing, working oocytes. Oocytes have the great advantage of one can inject into the nucleus or into the cytoplasm and dissect the nucleus from the cytoplasm very clearly and so we were able to have a very clean separation of the two cell compartments. The (snRNA) business subject got us into asking questions about how do molecules go in and out of the nucleus. And, now we’ve progressed from snRNAs into a number of other areas but its still on transport. And so, again, there’s no sudden change that occurs as you mature, you say this is interesting, lets follow our nose in that direction. That’s one of the really nice things about academic science that you start out in one direction and something catches your fancy and you go in another direction. I’ve got, you know, lots of examples over my career of that, it’s been that way. It’s been great! You can’t ask for more, can you!
Jim Dahlberg received his BA 1962, Haverford College, Pennsyvlania, completed his PhD 1966, University of Chicago. Dr. Dahlberg was a Postdoctoral Fellow from 1966-68 in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge under the supervision of two-times Nobelist, Dr. Frederick Sanger. He also did worked in the 1968-69, Universite de Geneve under Dr. Richard Epstein.
Dr. Dahlberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1996, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists (1997) During his career he has been the recipient of many awards including Eli Lilly Award for Biological Chemistry, 1974; H.I. Romnes Faculty Research Fellowship, 1976; Philips Visitor, 1977; Josiah Macy, Jr. Faculty Scholar Award, 1979-80; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1982; Frederick Sanger Professorship, 1991; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993; Fellow, U.W. Hilldale Professor, 1997; Buzzati-Traverso Award for Molecular Biology, Italian National Research Council, 1998; NIH Merit Award, 1998; European Molecular Biology Organization, Foreign Associate, 1998.
He is a frequent visitor to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as well as a speaker at many key Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology.