Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Nancy M. Hollingsworth was born in San Francisco, California, but spent most of her youth moving around -- to Oregon, Panama, New Mexico, California, and, finally, Arizona -- with her parents and older brother. Her father was a psychiatrist (and the reason for the travel); her mother was a trained dietitian who chose not to work while her children were growing up. Hollingsworth enjoyed school from a young age, a precocious child who loved reading, schoolwork (she would also play "school" when at home), playing cards with her family, nature, and music. In high school she had a great interest in literature, mathematics, and history, though did think about pursuing zoology as a major in college
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Lili Yamasaki grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan. She excelled in school, developing a proficiency in and curiosity about science, though she had a very well-rounded education and several influential teachers. Yamasaki entered the University of Michigan to pursue her undergraduate degree, committed to her early interest in chemistry but still diversifying her education with classes in the humanities. During summers she worked or interned in various labs focused on chemistry—at the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, with Donald Huppi at Michigan, and at Gelman Instrument Company. While working at the University of Michigan for a year after graduation, for personal and professional reasons Yamaski decided to apply to positions on the west coast, ultimately doing enzymology research in the department of psychiatry at Stanford University with Donna L. Wong and Roland D. Ciaranello. Wanting to return school to obtain a doctoral degree, she applied to a number of ... Read More
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Carolyn Bertozzi grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, the second of three girls. Her father was a nuclear physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her mother a secretary in MIT’s physics department. Carolyn was recruited to Harvard. She began as a biology major but in her second year took an organic chemistry class, which she loved, although she continued to take biology classes, she switched her major to chemistry. She was first in her class and eventually graduated summa cum laude, but Harvard’s chemistry department was exclusively male at the time. As a result, she went to a lab in the biochemistry department, where Joseph Grabowski, her teacher for a physical organic chemistry class, asked her to work for him during the summer. He convinced her to go to graduate school at University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley, she joined Mark Bednarski’s bioorganic chemistry laboratory to study carbohydrates. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the synthesis of ... Read More
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Monica L. Vetter grew up in Markham, Ontario, Canada. She entered McGill University, deciding to major in biosciences. Her interest in science led to several summers spent in various academic labs working on muscle contraction at the University of Ottawa, motor cortex and motor control in primates at the University of Toronto, and eye movements and the neural control of eye movements at McGill. Wanting to experience the academic world beyond the confines of the traditional Canadian/American school systems, Vetter spent a year abroad at the Free University in Berlin, Germany. During her time there, she applied to and was accepted at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she conducted research in the lab of J. Michael Bishop on molecular genetics and signaling pathways in neuronal cells. She remained at UCSF to undertake a postdoctoral position in Yuh Nung Jan’s laboratory focusing on ath5 transcription factor and the regulation of the initial events in vertebrate ... Read More
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Caroline F. Kisker grew up in West Berlin, West Germany. She joined the large laboratory of Wolfram Saenger and throughout the course of her Diplom and Ph.D., Kisker had the opportunity to conduct laboratory work in Zurich, Switzerland and Frankfurt, Germany with Nobel Laureate Hartmut Michel. Her doctoral thesis centered on the determination of medically relevant tetracycline repressor protein, the results of which she published in Science. While working in the Saenger laboratory, Kisker met her husband Hermann Schindelin. After completing their doctorates, they both pursued postdoctoral research in Douglas C. Rees’s laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). At Caltech, Kisker solved the sulfite oxidase structure and published it in Cell. At the end of her time as a postdoctoral fellow, Kisker accepted a position as a faculty member at State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 2006 she moved to the Rudolf Virchow Center at the University of Würzburg in ... Read More
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Sarah A. Woodson was born in Warren, Michigan. Though her father believed that women had a subservient place in society and should not work, Woodson's mother helped her get into Kalamazoo College, where she studied chemistry. After spending a year at a lab in France, she began working in Morton Rabin's lab at Wayne State University. Next, she went to Yale University, where she studied nucleic acids using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. After five years, she spent three years as a postdoc with Thomas Cech at University of Colorado. There she studied RNA, discovering reverse self-splicing. She is now a professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches, runs her lab, publish, and mentors lab members
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Margaret C. Kielian grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She became interested in science at an early age. She had a chemistry set that at one time caused an explosion, leaving a blob mark on the ceiling, and she had a fish tank that was a great source of protozoa that she liked to study under a microscope. A summer National Science Foundation program at the University of Kansas inspired her decision to become a microbiologist. Kielian attended the University of Nebraska, where she majored in microbiology. She considered Stanford and Rockefeller Universities for graduate school and was encouraged to attend Rockefeller. She worked in William Bowers’ lab, then took a summer lab course at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Kielian discusses having and raising children while pursuing a science career and the challenges facing two-career couples. She talks about Zanvil A. Cohn, her thesis adviser. As she studied fusion of phagocytic vacuoles with lysosomes in the Cohn lab she became ... Read More
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Jean T. Greenberg was raised, principally, in New York City with her mother, though she spent weekends in Connecticut with her father; Greenberg had one older brother. Her father was a physician with "the heart" of a scientist; her mother was interested in the arts and worked as a multi-faceted assistant to an author. Greenberg attended private schools in New York City throughout her childhood, but found them unable to cope with students who had interests that went beyond the curriculum or those who were more advanced than their classmates. She maintained strong friendships with peers interested in the humanities and the arts, but found herself much more interested in mathematics and the sciences. Her time outside of school was occupied with enjoying the culture and opportunities of New York City, working, and the weekend commutes to Connecticut
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Marcia B. Goldberg grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She received her BA from Harvard University, where she developed an interest in physiology, which encouraged her to attend Harvard Medical School. She traveled extensively, including a service trip to Gabon, and explored many aspects of medicine by working with various non-profits. During her residency, she researched virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae alongside Dr. Stephen B. Calderwood. She then spent several years studying Shigella flexneri pathogenesis in Philippe J Sansonetti's Lab at the Pasteur Institute. Goldberg became assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, but after a few years moved to Harvard Medical School. Her current research focuses on the IcsA protein of Shigella flexneri and its role in actin assembly during the bacterium's infection of mammalian host cells
Chemical Heritage Foundation - Othmer Library of Chemical History
Hong Sun was born and raised in Beijing, China, during the Cultural Revolution, the older of two siblings. Both of her parents were physicians who, later in their careers, focused more on medical research than practice—her mother in pathology, her father in immunology. Life during the Revolution provided a “chaotic” education at times, including a year of re-education in the countryside at the end of high school, and also family separation (Sun’s parents were sent to the countryside for several years for re-education, while Sun remained in Beijing under her grandmother’s care). The rise of Deng Xiaoping to power after Chairman Mao brought a return of the college admission program, giving Sun the ability to develop and pursue her interest in science, attending Beijing Medical College, from which she received her medical degree. She also took part in the basic research program at the medical school, studying the binding affinity of monoclonal antibodies against aflatoxin for ... Read More

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