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Dr. Edward Scolnick Oral History 1998

Download the PDF: Scolnick_Edward_Oral_History_1998 (PDF 2.44 MB)

National Cancer Institute Oral History Project


at Dr. Scolnick's office at Merck Laboratories in West Point, Pennsylvania


GC:    Let's start with how you came to the NIH since you worked at the Heart Institute before you worked at NCI.


Along the way, there was one incident that had come up which had been an amusing incident, which I'll come back to in the middle of all this.


[End Side A, Tape 1]


[Begin Side B, Tape 1]


GC:    OK.

ES:    Along the way, we had had another really interesting incident which was a highlight or a low-light of my life at NIH.  And that is that as the various oncoproteins were being described and a little bit about them was being discovered in the early days of the '80s, it wasn't clear how they fit together biochemically in a pathway and that was really the key question then in the field, and that's where I felt I just wasn't being very creative.  I didn't know really how to go about doing that.  And then one day a rumor emanated from Cornell from Efraim Racker's lab.  A young guy named Mark Spector [sp?]—


—but I'll never give up the originals. 

GC:    Okay.

ES:    And a rumor emanated from Cornell that a young man in Ephraim Racker's lab—Ephraim Racker is a great historical biochemist, did some brilliant work in biochemistry—had discovered a link between the tyrosine kinase oncogenes and ras and that there was a kinase in cells that phosphorylated ras, ras was a substrate for tyrosine kinase and really cracked the problem open.  So, I called up Mark Spector and talked to him and said, "Gee, this is really exciting.  Tell me something about it and would you like to work with us on the project.  We've got all these cells and genetic things and maybe you can help me figure it out."


GC:    Okay.  I'll stop the tape now.  Thank you so much.

ES:    You're welcome.


End of interview