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Thomas Maniatis, 2003-03-22

 Item — Multiple Containers
Oral History | Tom Maniatis
Oral History | Tom Maniatis

Scope and Contents

Tom Maniatis, molecular biologist and leader in the field of recombinant DNA, is interviewed by Mila Pollock on March 22, 2003, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tom Maniatis discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. Becoming a scientist -- Scene 2. Mark Ptashne -- Scene 3. Recombinant DNA controversy at Harvard -- Scene 4. Arriving at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 5. Recombinant DNA research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 6. Advice for young scientists -- Scene 7. Other interests -- Scene 8. Jim Watson: first impression -- Scene 9. Jim Watson as a writer -- Scene 10. Jim Watson -- Scene 11. Jim Watson on Tom Maniatis: quote from a recommendation letter -- Scene 12. Jim Watson as a mentor -- Scene 13. Leaving Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 14. Alfred Hershey -- Scene 15. Writing science -- Scene 16. Barbara McClintock -- Scene 17. Rich Roberts -- Scene 18. Writing and science: molecular cloning -- Scene 19. Jim Watson as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 20. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 21. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Watson School of Biological Sciences -- Scene 22. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: the future -- Scene 23. Bruce Stillman: becoming Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


  • Creation: 2003-03-22


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

Tom Maniatis, molecular biologist, is a leader in the field of recombinant DNA. At Vanderbilt University he completed his Ph.D. studying DNA wide-angle scattering. He became a postdoctoral fellow and professor at Harvard University and met Jim Watson just before he became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. While Maniatis was beginning experimentation with cDNA cloning and gene regulation of higher cells, the controversy over recombinant DNA in Cambridge stunted his progression. Watson offered Maniatis a position at CSHL where he could work more efficiently to understand the methods of recombinant DNA. At CSHL, Maniatis completed full-length synthesis of double stranded DNA and actual cloning of cDNA.

He was the Thomas H. Lee Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University where he studied the mechanisms involved in the regulation of RNA transciption and pre-messenger RNA splicing. He studied transcription to understand how eukaryotic genes are activated by viral infection and extracellular signals.

He is currently the Isidore S. Edelman Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Director of the Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative, and Principal Investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute. He is also the Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Genome Center. He studies the causes of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) using genetic and molecular and cell biology tools.


3 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : Hi-8 - CSHL1276, CSHL1277 (CSHL1277 also contains Andrew Berry and Family), CSHL1278 (CSHL1278 is labeled EDITED)

2 Cassettes (Working copy) : MiniDV - CSHL1099, CSHL1100

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English