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:
"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."
"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."
"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."
"I became interested and started a research program."
"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."
"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