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Oral Histories Programme EMBL-Heidelberg
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Ada Yonath

In this interview, Ada Yonath from the Weizmann Institute of Science who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 talks about the development of her research on ribosomal crystallography. Especially her electron microscopy work together with Kevin Leonard and Sir John Kendrew is linked to the EMBL Heidelberg.

Alan Sawyer

This is an interview with Alan Sawyer who started to work as a technical assistant at EMBL Heidelberg in 1990 in Thomas Kreis' and Eric Karsenti's group. In this interview, Alan Sawyer describes how he started working in the UK before coming to EMBL, how he developed his methods of producing antibodies at EMBL Heidelberg and how he came to work on microarrays at EMBL after 2001 as well as on one of the Core Facilities after 2008. Furthermore, this interview contains some anecdotes of Alan Sawyer's life in Heidelberg and how he perceives the process of professionalization of EMBL over time.

Andre Gabriel

This is an interview with the electrical engineer André Gabriel who started working at EMBL Grenoble in 1973. In this interview, André Gabriel explains how, through his contacts to Marc Chabre and Vittorio Luzzatti, molecular biology came to his professional interest. He describes how he witnessed the installation of the EMBL site in Grenoble and of its instruments as well as his impression of the first two DGs, Sir John Kendrew and Lennart Philipson. Besides that, André Gabriel also mentions his move to EMBL Heidelberg where he stayed until 1984.

Angus Lamond

This is an interview with molecular biologist Angus Lamond. In this interview, Angus Lamond reflects his earlier career stations at the University of Glasgow and the ETH Zurich before coming to EMBL in 1986. He reflects the working environment at EMBL at that time as he perceived it and explains his scientific research of RNA-splicing to identify proteins using mass-spectrometry-based proteomics.

Daniel Louvard

This is an interview with the French cell and molecular biologist Daniel Louvard who was Head of a research group at EMBL Heidelberg from 1978 until 1982. In this interview, Daniel Louvard explains why he decided to work at EMBL as a postdoc and how he developed his research on epithelial functions, on membrane trafficking and on producing monoclonal antibodies at that time. Furthermore, Daniel Louvard describes the working environment at EMBL, how he later became Head of Unit at the Pasteur Institute and his scientific work after his time at EMBL, especially his foundation of the ATIP-avenir program.

Edith Heard

This is an interview with the geneticist and cell biologist Edith Heard who has become EMBLs fifth DG in January 2019 and who is also head of department at the Curie Institute and professor at the College de France. In this interview, Edith Heard describes the development of her scientific career and of her interest in the genetic control of X-chromosome inactivation and its epigenetics. She also talks about how she came in touch with EMBL through Daniel Louvard. Furthermore, Edith Heard gives an insight of how she witnessed her election as DG and what ideas she has for EMBLs future in relation to research in molecular biology, but also in relation to the different EMBL sites and the administration.

Eero Vuorio

This is an interview with Eero Vuorio who has been a council delegate and Chairman of the EMBL council. In this interview, Eero Vuorio describes his career from working on molecular cloning of RNA and DNA to administration. He gives an insight of the work of the EMBL council, especially in terms of raising financial resources and in terms of the procedure of electing a new DG for EMBL. Furthermore, Eero Vuorio analyses the development of the administration of EMBL, also in connection to the different EMBL sites.

Eric Wieschaus

This is an interview with the evolutionary developmental biologist and Nobel Prize-winner Eric Wieschaus who was a group leader at EMBL Heidelberg between 1978 and 1981. In this interview, Eric Wieschaus describes how he became interested in flies an how he and Christiane Nüsslein-Vollhard came from working with Walter Gehring to starting at EMBL. Furthermore, Eric Wieschaus gives an insight of his daily work at EMBL, especially concerning mutagenesis and later zygotically active lethals screening. He also describes the cooperation with the EMBL facilities and he gives a special insight into his impressions of EMBLs first DG, Sir John Kendrew.

Erich Honig

This is an interview with Erich Honig who was a group leader and the driver of the EMBL in Heidelberg since 1975 until he retired in 2008. In this interview, Honig describes how his job as a driver has developed since the time he started at EMBL. Furthermore, this interview mainly contains general impressions of Honig concerning the working environment at EMBL.

Ernst Stelzer

This is an interview with the biophysicist Ernst Stelzer who worked at EMBL since 1983 in the physical instrumentation program and later in the cell biology and the biophysics unit. In this interview, Ernst Stelzer reflects how he started his work on confocal fluorescence microscopy, but he also explains his later microscopy and laser work, also connected to specimen preparation. Furthermore, Ernst Stelzer especially describes the challenges of instrumentation, but he also describes how the collaboration with Carl Zeiss in Jena started to bring the confocal fluorescence microscopes as a product on the market.

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