At every stage of my career I have had interesting and cordial colleagues, some of whom are close friends.
The glimpses of human strength and frailty that a physician sees are with me still.
As I look back on the last few decades of my life, I am struck by the good fortune that came my way.
First of all, many human diseases are influenced by, if not caused by mutations in genes.
My parents came to the United States in the early years of this century as part of a wave of Russian Jewish immigrants seeking freedom and opportunity in the New World.
And of course, identifying all human genes and proteins will have great medical significance.
I also found out that I liked biochemical research and that I could do it.
My education began in the public schools of Wilmington. During most of these years, from about age 10, I also worked at some job or other after school, on weekends, and in the summer months.
People are not the only interesting organism on earth. From the point of view of scientific or commercial value, there are lots of interesting organisms.
So I applied to medical school and received a scholarship at Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University turned out to be a lucky choice. The faculty was scholarly and dedicated and accessible to students.
Small science, which includes most research in the life sciences all over the world, is science directed usually by an individual senior scientist and a small team of junior associates, perhaps three, ten, fifteen, something in that order.
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