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PERSPECTIVES & OPINIONS
Allan C. Spradling's aim is to see the big picture, to focus especially on fundamental processes in biology, and to exploit nature's own ways in order to advance science. More
This HHMI investigator and professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology spends much of his time thinking about the energy it takes to keep humans and other creatures alive, with every molecule inside their bodies working as it should. More
"My childhood love of solving puzzles, playing logic games, and mystery stories eventually led me to enroll in science courses that had labs. Once I started, I never wanted to do anything else. I now believe a career in science is simply the grown-up, legitimized version of all those childhood games."
Kevan Shokat PROFESSOR OF CELLULAR & MOLECULAR PHARMACOLOGY University of California, San Francisco
"I was always fascinated with the question, 'what was the first living thing?' In college, I took a year of introductory chemistry. I had never seen the logic of chemistry before, and it excited me. Later, in graduate school, I learned how to think long and hard about a problem, find an elegant solution, and break it down into steps. That stayed with me."
"How do things work? I always wanted to know. As a kid, I collected rocks, studied sea life, and played with chemistry sets. Yes, my room had a foul smell—and there were a few fires. My parents and my grandfather also gave me microscopes and electronic kits for toys. When I went to public schools and college, I naturally gravitated toward science. My career has followed the path of least resistance."
Dorothee Kern ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY Brandeis University
"I fell in love with science as a kid. Growing up in Communist East Germany also meant that social sciences were heavily influenced by the Communistic society, tweaked and manipulated. In contrast, science was much more pure and objective. My math and biology teachers were amazing, challenging me and showing the beauty of logic. I hated memorizing stuff—I always wanted to derive the answers."