Recorded: 06 Sep 2001
When I was in Tom’s lab—I mean I’m a replication person because I was there while this was going on. I made a point of being absolutely as involved as I could. So I think in some ways Bruce’s and Tom’s lab have been very parallel but basically what they did was to really open up the field of eukaryotic DNA replication. I mean, wildly. Took the problem home as biochemists—a scientist that’s, you know, disappearing from the face of the globe these days. What I like about Bruce [Stillman] and Tom [Kelly]’s work, (they’re not probably now as good at this as they used to)—is starting with the whole problem. I mean that’s what biochemistry does. Start with the whole problem and then you try to fractionate it and figure out how it works. I don’t think there’s any laboratory, and I’ll put Tom and Bruce right together, that’s done it better than those two. And then of course Bruce, sooner than Tom, has moved on towards other approaches and move into other models, yeast, molecular genetic approaches to try and figure out how replication works. I think Bruce has also been sooner to move toward—and I do think of them as Tom and Bruce—towards asking questions about regulation. I mean—how is it—not just what are the pieces of the replication machine—how is it regulated? How does it work? How does the cell know which is the start and which is the stop? I think gradually—you know I think it's interesting being here at this meeting because fourteen years ago those questions were not being asked by these people and now—as I say to Tom, “You’ve finally figured out that regulation is important!” He laughs because young, naïve students think that because their advisor are not saying things that they’re not thinking things. When of course they’re thinking them, yeah. He was always going in this direction.
James Sherley is a scientist on the forefront of adult stem-cell research. He earned his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.D./Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology (BCMB Program) from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
He was a Principal Investigator in the Division of Medical Science at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is currently a Principal Investigator at the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health at MIT. His present research is in integrated studies in somatic stem cell kinetics.
Sherley was honored as a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Science in 1993, and in 2001 became a Pew Science and Society Institute Fellow.