My Life and Adventures Integrating Biology and Technology
Abstract of the lecture
My scientific career has had two major thrusts: to practice leading-edge biology, and to develop technologies that breach the barriers to deciphering biological information. The integration of these two efforts has been extremely challenging. As I review my life, I see the emergence of life interests and choices that have both directly and indirectly influenced my career path: a love of the outdoors, sports, and exercise; a love of music, both playing and listening; an early appreciation of the importance of communication skills and a love of teaching; a fascination with reading and writing; the ability to think and act independently; a love of science and technology; and the leaderships skills to change the administrative structures under which science is practiced. I will discuss my early life, my educational decisions, and my early career path choices. I will discuss my past scientific accomplishments and how they logically led into my current efforts at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle to define a new approach to biology - systems biology - and a new view of medicine - predictive and preventive medicine. I will discuss the ethical, social, and legal challenges the "new biology" brings and contend that a critical part of dealing with these challenges is the scientific education of society. In this regard, the Institute for Systems Biology has major programs in K-12 science education. Finally, I will discuss what I believe is the essence of being an academic and the challenges and opportunities that lie before all of us as humans.