Skip to main content

James Wyngaarden, 2003-08-18

 Item — Box: AV04, miniDV: CSHL1194
Oral History | James Wyngaarden
Oral History | James Wyngaarden

Scope and Contents

James B. Wyngaarden discusses the following in his interview: LIFE IN SCIENCE: Becoming a Scientist; Scientific Career Highlights; Francis Crick; Sydney Brenner.

GENOME RESEARCH: Opposition to the HGP; HGP Influence on Biomedical Research; Competition in Science; Competition in Science: Public vs Private Work on the HGP; Dangers of Genomic Research; Gene Patenting; Government Funding of Science; Government Regulation of Science; Involvement in the HGP; On Choosing Jim Watson as Director of HGP; Mechanics of the HGP; Surprises in the HGP.

JAMES D. WATSON: Lucky Jim; Jim Waston: Departure from the HGP at NIH; Jim Watson, Director of the HGP at NIH; Jim Watson, Writer.

CSHL: Barbara McClintock; CSHL; Rich Roberts; CSHL Symposia and Courses; CSHL Past & Present.


  • Creation: 2003-08-18


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

James B. Wyngaarden (October 19, 1924–June 14, 2019) was a medical doctor, biochemist and medical science advisor. He served as director of the National Institutes of Health, associate director for Life Sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, and as director of the Human Genome Organization. Wyngaarden was part of the Washington Advisory Group, LLC and director of four biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. Wyngaarden is also co-author of the textbook The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease.

He researches the regulation of purine biosynthesis, the production of uric acid and he helped initiate the use of allopurinol, a drug developed as an anticancer agent and now used as a treatment for gout. While serving as director of the National Institutes of Heath, he enlisted the help of Dr. Watson in 1988 to begin the Human Genome Project. Jim obliged and joined the NIH as the associate director for Human Genome Research, while still acting as director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1195

1 Optical Disks (Talking science with James Wyngaarden) : DVD

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English