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Robert Martienssen, 2001-02-20

 Item — Box: AV07, Hi8: CSHL1279
Oral History | Robert Martienssen
Oral History | Robert Martienssen

Scope and Contents

Robert Martienssen, plant molecular geneticist and professor, is interviewed by Mila Pollock and Ramah McKay on February 20, 2001, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Robert Martienssen discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. Meeting Barbara McClintock -- Scene 2. Barbara McClintock's "controlling elements" -- Scene 3. Barbara McClintock personality -- Scene 4. Barbara McClintock as a mentor -- Scene 5. Barbara McClintock as a pioner in maize genetics -- Scene 6. Women in science -- Scene 7. The Plant Group in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 8. Epigenetics and other research -- Scene 9. Working with Barbara McClintock -- Scene 10. Barbara McClintock's intelligence -- Scene 11. Barbara McClintock and mysticism -- Scene 12. Barbara McClintock's death -- Scene 13. Barbara McClintock at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory -- Scene 14. Education and scientific life -- Scene 15. Postdoctoral research -- Scene 16. Experimentation -- Scene 17. Current research and inspiration from McClintock -- Scene 18. Epigenetics and stem cells -- Scene 19. Ramosa mutation and Arabidopsis -- Scene 20. RNA interference -- Scene 21. Another approach: the plant genome -- Scene 22. Barbara McClintock: the first plant geneticist -- Scene 23. Jim Watson's involvement in the Human Genome Project -- Scene 24. Technological innovation and personal vision -- Scene 25. Teaching: the Watson School of Biological Sciences -- Scene 26. Computing and modern genetics.


  • Creation: 2001-02-20


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

Rob Martienssen is a plant molecular geneticist, professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1986 and did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. As a young scientist, he worked closely with Barbara McClintock. He currently studies plant epigenetics and development using functional genomics. He was awarded the Kumho International Science Award in Plant Biology and Biotechnology (2001). Dr. Martienssen is a member of the Board of Directors and a scientific co-founder of Orion Genomics, a “second code” biotechnology company developing oncology diagnostic products.


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : Hi-8 - CSHL1279

4 VHS (Copy) : VHS - 2025 [4 copies]: MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_2001_01 [0:46:53] unedited; MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_2001_02 [0:45:10] unedited; MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_ND_01 [1:10:48] unedited duplicate of MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_2001_01; MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_ND_02 [1:02:12] unedited duplicate of MARTIENSSEN_ROBERT_2001_01

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English