Issue 42.2 April - June 2008
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NEW Article Series

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NEW Article Series

What got you into this business?

We thought we would add something new, personal and interesting to the IVR. We sent out emails to people asking them:

"I am writing a small quarterly column including a short statement, one or two sentences, describing how "we" all ended up in this business. What was the one deciding factor that made you turn to "the in vitro side"?Would you be willing to share something like that? It can be anonymous or not but would really help make the IVR a lot more interesting."

Here are some responses:

Mike Kane:

"As part of my Masters and doctoral research I was examining the environmental/physiological control of leaf development in heterophyllous amphibious aquatic vascular plants. I had a major problem culturing plants without algal contamination. In vitro culture allowed me to conduct my research under controlled conditions."

Carol Stiff:

"For me, it was when I was doing some routine tissue culture bioassays as a lab tech (pre-Masters) at Virginia Tech. Roots formed in my callus when they should not and I wanted to know why. I started reading more, joined the TCA in 1977 and got piles of reprints from Dr. Murashige. I became a true convert then and have enjoyed it ever since."

Sylvia Mitchell:

"I found "in vitro" within the subjects I liked at school. From high school I loved geography (because I had travelled a lot) and the sciences, especially botany (love plants). At University, I continued with geography and botany (doing a double major) because I loved agriculture but I wanted to find a way to make a contribution more than just growing crops on a farm (which I still want to do). From I was taught about tissue culture, I fell in love with it. Here was a way to make a contribution, by finding ways to produce large quantities of elite, clean planting material. After 20 years of tissue culture, I am still in love with "in vitro", even more as I explore all the different ramification available for research and for making a difference in the agriculture of my country."

Joe Arditti:

"I became interested and started a research program."

Paul Price:

"It was 1958 and I had just started as a student intern at Microbiological Associates, the only commercial cell culture company at that time. They sent me to the Laboratory of Harry Eagle at NIH for training. Eagle is considered the father of our modern cell culture media. After that I was hooked. NIH later sent me back to school on a scholarship for my PhD."

Michael Fay:

"As an undergraduate student at the University of Maine I worked in a laboratory that used fish cell lines to study viral pathogens. Learning that cultured cells could be used to study disease processes made a major impact on my career path, as evidenced by that fact that my laboratory currently uses human cell lines to study cancer."

Carol Stiff and Michael Fay


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