Gerald Rubin on Meeting Jim Watson
  Gerald Rubin     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

Yeah, I was here when Jim first came here. So John Cairns was still here, and I was here the first year that Jim was here as director. It was one of the summers that I was here at the lab. I think my first meeting with him was when I came as an URP. And Jim does seem strange, I think, is the best word, you know, to describe Jim. I mean he was unusual in his mannerisms and in the way he carried himself. And he was awkward in a certain kind of way. But he really cared about science. And he would talk to anyone about science. He would care about the science, and he was always looking for what he saw as good, young people who were working hard and were really, you know, committed. He felt everyone should be dedicated and should be, you know, a very strong work ethic. And despite what you read in The Double Helix, I don’t know, maybe he felt that we should all be working harder and no playing tennis, I can tell you that. But he was like a mythical figure. You know, if you were an undergraduate and it was Jim Watson, this was someone you read about in books and you were sort of in awe of him.

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.