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Charles Delisi, 2003-09-08

 Item — Multiple Containers
Oral History | Charles DeLisi
Oral History | Charles DeLisi

Scope and Contents

Charles DeLisi describes his early interests in physics, mathematics, and genetics, and his participation in the cultural shift in biology during the 1980s which spurred the Human Genome Project (HGP.) DeLisi tells of his work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Center, and at the Department of Energy where he organized the important 1986 Santa Fe Workshop, where plans to to sequence the human genome were discussed. Having been the first director of the Department of Energy's HGP effort, DeLisi talks about funding the HGP, surprises, dangers in, and the future of genomic research. He recalls meeting Jim Watson, and other colleagues in gene mapping. Charles DeLisi's interview discusses the following: Scene 1. Becoming a scientist -- Scene 2. Involvement in genomics -- Scene 3. Involvement in genomics: the Human Genome Project -- Scene 4. The Santa Fe workshop -- Scene 5. Opposition to the Human Genome Project -- Scene 6. Mechanics of the Human Genome Project -- Scene 7. Public and private funding of science -- Scene 8. Scientific career highlights: The Human Genome Project -- Scene 9. Surprises in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 10. Dangers of genomic research -- Scene 11. Gene patenting -- Scene 12. Competition in science -- Scene 13. Meeting Jim Watson -- Scene 14. Lee Hood -- Scene 15. Walter Gilbert -- Scene 16. Charles Cantor -- Scene 17. Sydney Brenner -- Scene 18. The future of genomic research.


  • Creation: 2003-09-08


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Charles DeLisi did pioneering work in theoretical and mathematical immunology. He received his Ph.D. in physics and did postdoctoral studies in the chemistry department at Yale University researching RNA structure. He became a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and then moved to the National Institute of Health, where he worked on molecular and cell immunology for ten years.

DeLisi is currently director of the Biomolecular Systems Laboratory, Chair of the Bioinformatics Program, Metcalf Professor of Science and Engineering and Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering at Boston University.

Charles DeLisi develops computational methods for high throughput genomic and proteomic analysis. His laboratory is helping to develop technologies for fingerprinting the complete molecular state of a cell. He is interested in finding computational methods for determining protein function and researches the structural basis of signal translation by membrane bound receptors, the structural basis of voltage gating, and the docking of peptide hormones and neurotransmitters at their sites of action.

In 1986, DeLisi and Watson met at a CSHL meeting and spoke about their interests in sequencing the human genome.


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1045

1 Cassettes (Copy of DVD. Labeled "Charles DeLisi DVD") : MiniDV - CSHL1046

1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with Charles Delisi) : DVD

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Charles DeLisi, pioneer in theoretical and mathematical immunology and an important player in the Human Genome Project, is interviewed by Mila Pollock on September 8, 2003, at Boston University, in Boston, Massachusetts.


Interview recorded on Mini DV, then transferred to DVD.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA