I'm used to being surrounded by really smart 22-year-old students who have no problem saying that something I suggested is not a very good idea.
My ideal summer day was reading on the porch.
Every cancer looks different. Every cancer has similarities to other cancers. And we're trying to milk those differences and similarities to do a better job of predicting how things are going to work out and making new drugs.
Following graduation from Amherst, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship enabled me to test the depth of my interest in literary scholarship by beginning graduate studies at Harvard University.
I had learned of Gertrude Stein's bon mot that medicine opened all doors. This prompted me, in different moods, to view my future life as literary psychiatrist, globe-trotting tropical disease specialist, or academic internist.
I had learned that science is a rewarding, active process of discovery, not the passive absorption of what others had discovered.
Tobacco, UV rays, viruses, heredity, and age are the main causes of cancer.
I saw my friends in medical school seeming to be more engaged with the real world. That provoked a sort of jealousy, and I decided to go to medical school after all.
Anyone graduating from medical school in 1966 had first to fulfill military service before launching a career. Fiercely opposed to the Vietnam War, I sought to avoid it through an assignment to the Public Health Service.
I begin with the premise that behavior is an incredibly important element in medicine. People's habits, their willingness to quit smoking, their willingness to take steps to avoid transmission of HIV, are all behavioral questions.
Just after graduation in 1966, like many of my contemporaries, I applied for research training at the National Institutes of Health. Perhaps because his wife was a poet, Ira Pastan agreed to take me into his laboratory, despite my lack of scientific credentials.
In general, all cancers have been traditionally characterized by the way they appear under the microscope and the organs in which they arise.
All basic scientists who look to the NCI for funding should know that I will tolerate no retreat on the study of model systems and the pursuit of fundamental biological principles.
I keep encouraging the pharmaceutical companies to put more money into R&D.
In the 1960s and '70s, there wasn't much evidence at all. We knew vaguely the causes of cancer, but methods like genomics were very new.
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