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Joan Steitz, 2003-08-04

 Item — Box: AV04, miniDV: CSHL1163
Oral History | Joan Steitz
Oral History | Joan Steitz

Scope and Contents

Joan Steitz, molecular biologist and professor, is interviewed by Mila Pollock and Danielle Kovacs on March 21, 2001, at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Joan Steitz speaks about her long relationship with Jim Watson, from the time she met him as an undergraduate, later as his first woman graduate student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dept. at Harvard, and being mentored by him while working in his lab there. She describes Watson as a professor and administrator; his significant impact on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; and as director of the Human Genome Project. Steitz recalls working with Francis Crick at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England, and important events in her scientific career.


  • Creation: 2003-08-04


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

Joan Steitz, a pioneer and leader in the study of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), received a B.S. from Antioch College (1963) and earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology under Jim Watson at Harvard University (1967.) She joined the faculty at Yale University in 1970 and is currently the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the Director of the Molecular Genetics Program at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale. She has been an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University School of Medicine since 1986. Steitz’s research involves determining the structure and function of small RNA-protein complexes. She has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (1986), the Weizmann Women and Science Award (1994), the Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research (1999), the UNESCO-L'Oréal Women in Science Award (2001), the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (2002), and the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science(2018).


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1163

1 Optical Disks (Talking science with Joan Steitz) : DVD ; 47 min.

5 Cassettes (1 taped marked roughtcut) : Joan Steitz roughcut STEITZ_JOAN_2001_01 [0:49:18] edited and titled; 2019E STEITZ_JOAN_2001_02 [0:48:16] edited and titled; 2019E STEITZ_JOAN_2001_03 [0:47:46] duplicate, edited and titled; 2019 STEITZ_JOAN_2001_04 [0:57:45] unedited VHS

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English