Schekman in 2012.
|Born||Randy Wayne Schekman
December 30, 1948
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
|Institutions||University of California, Berkeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
|Thesis||Resolution and Reconstruction of
a multienzyme DNA replication reaction (1975)
|Doctoral advisor||Arthur Kornberg|
|Doctoral students||David Julius
|Known for||Editor-in-chief of PNAS and eLife|
Lasker award (2002)
Everything I did in high school was focused on microbiology, looking at things like algae under a microscope for hours on end. When I was 13, I saved up $100 to buy a good used microscope. I was obsessed with microorganisms.
It is common, and encouraged by many journals, for research to be judged by the impact factor of the journal that publishes it. But as a journal's score is an average, it says little about the quality of any individual piece of research.
The prevailing structures of personal reputation and career advancement mean the biggest rewards often follow the flashiest work, not the best.
The night before the Nobel announcement every year, I've gone to bed feeling quite anxious. I was optimistic, and also I knew it might never happen.
The idea that I could push the envelope using dedication and research and endless curiosity has propelled me in my life's work.
Our cells engage in protein production, and many of those proteins are enzymes responsible for the chemistry of life.
I got into science because I thought that, with inspiration and hard work, I could figure out how life works.
I am a scientist. Mine is a professional world that achieves great things for humanity.
When I was a postdoc, I jotted every fresh thought on a three-by-five card and kept them in a card catalogue.
Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of the bonus culture, which drives risk-taking that is rational for individuals but damaging to the financial system, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals. The result will be better research that better serves science and society.