Gerald Rubin on Jim Watson, Writer
  Gerald Rubin     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

Well, some of his books are much better than others. So "The Double Helix", I think was a great book, and I think had a big influence on scientists and let people understand that scientists were driven by all these same kind of egos and emotions and so that I think was a very good book. Some of his other books have been good. Some of his other more recent books have been variable, and have some good bits and bad bits.

As I was an URP here and here for more than one summer, I got to know him a little better and could talk to him. And after my postdoc, he offered me a job here. I actually thought about coming here, but I was single then and to come to Cold Spring Harbor is not a good place to be a single man. And so I didn’t come here.

And then the main—the next time I interacted with Jim was over the, you know, the genome project as he was trying to get me interested in doing the drosophila genome project and through that, you know, mechanism.

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.