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Week 2  

Amy K.   Keating     is a Sizer Career Development Associate Professor in the MIT Department of Biology. Amy explains how αhelices are involved in some important protein-protein interactions, and how her basic research on these protein interactions is leading to new types of cancer treatment drugs.  


Susan Lindquist is a Howard Hughes

Medical Institute Investigator, and recipient of the 2010 National Medal of Science. Susan describes how protein folding takes place in the extremely crowded environment of the cytoplasm (you learned about protein folding by playing foldit). She explains how problems in protein folding can cause human diseases, and how her research is leading to the development of new drugs.




Matthew Vander   Heiden is a Howard S. and Linda B. Stern Career Development Assistant Professor of Biology. Matt describes how glycolysis and metabolic pathways are two of the hottest topics in cancer research. Matt also explains how they underlie a powerful technique used to visualize where cancers are located in the body, and how their study is leading to new anticancer drugs.  




Week 3  

Angelika Amon is a Kathleen and Curtis


Marble Professor of Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Angelika describes how seeing an old movie about mitosis during high school led her to become a geneticist who uses yeast as model organism to determine the molecular mechanisms of fundamental biological processes. Angelika takes you on a short visit to her lab, and discusses how mistakes in chromosome segregation can give rise to human genetic diseases and can contribute to cancer.

Mary Gehring is the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Career Development Assistant Professor of Biology. Mary explains how she uses a small plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model system and carries out genetic crosses between Arabidopsis plants to learn gain new insights into biology.


Week 4  

David Page is a Professor of Biology, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Director of the Whitehead Institute. David describes how he started to do research for the human genome project and developed his interest in the Y chromosome while in medical school. David talks about the fun that he has had over the years studying the Y chromosome, and how this has led his lab into a deep study of the biology of reproduction.




Terry Orr-Weaver is an American Cancer Society Research Professor. Terry describes how her genetic and genomic studies of fruit flies (Drosophila) address the fundamental question of how an organism goes from a single celled, fertilized embryo to being an adult organism.


Graham Walker is an American Cancer Society Professor and an HHMI Professor. Graham describes how he learned about DNA while he was a chemistry major taking a required Introductory Biology course and explains various DNA repair systems and the critical roles they play in human biology, including protecting us from cancer and slowing the aging process.


Wendy Gilbert is the Robert A. Swanson Career Development Professor and Assistant Professor of Biology. Wendy describes how she grew up in North Carolina and progressed from her original aspiration to be an actress or a professional dancer to becoming a Professor of Biology. Wendy explains how the amount of a protein that is made can be controlled by regulating the amount of mRNA or by the efficiency with which the mRNA is translated by the ribosome.




Week 7  

Vernon Ingram was a Professor of Biology in


the MIT Department of Biology who died in 2006. Vernon is sometimes referred to as "The father of Molecular Medicine". Vernon was the first person to demonstrate that a single amino acid exchange in a protein can cause a disease or disorder through his studies with the hemoglobin molecule in sickle cell anemia. Vernon was a member of the same very small research group as Watson and Crick. This video was recorded when Vernon visited one of the MIT biology classes and lets you hear about the discovery of DNA from someone who was there when it happened.

Phillip Sharp is an MIT Institute Professor, Professor of Biology, and winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of RNA splicing. Phil tells you about how he lived on a small farm in Kentucky until he finished high school and then went to a small liberal arts college in the mountains of Kentucky. Phil had originally been attracted to chemistry and mathematics, but then became interested in molecular and cellular biology while working on his PhD in PHILLIP SHARP Chemistry at the University of Illinois. Phil then describes how he came to make his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of RNA splicing. He explains how alternative splicing allows cells to make several versions of a protein and discusses the implications of RNA splicing for cancer.

Gobind Khorana grew up India in extremely


humble circumstances, yet rose to become one of the luminaries of 20th century science. He was the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry at MIT and won the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for cracking the genetic code. In this remarkable video of an informal meeting with visiting high school students, Gobind describes going to school under a tree, writing on a clay covered wooden board, and even tells you how to make India ink! Gobind passed away in 2011, so Dr. Uttam RajBhandany, introduces you to Gobind and summarizes his scientific accomplishments.



Uttam (Tom) RajBhandary is the Lester Wolfe Professor in Molecular Biology in the Department of Biology at MIT. Tom grew up in Nepal received his Masters degree in India and his Ph.D. degree in England, both in chemistry. Tom joined Gobind Khorana’s lab and changed his interests from chemistry to biology. Tom uses 3dimensional models of tRNA and the ribosome to explain how the information in mRNAs is translated into proteins. Tom also tells you that many antibiotics work by UTTAM RAJBHANDAR targeting the ribosome and explains how our knowledge of the structure of the ribosome is leading to the design of new antibiotics.

Week 8  

Mike Laub is the Whitehead Career Development Associate Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist at MIT. Mike studies how bacteria sense and respond to their environments. He is especially interesting in the signaling proteins that sense the environmental changes and then direct the appropriate cell responses. Mike describes how his lab uses both genetic and biochemical approaches to study this problem and tells you how the recombinant DNA techniques you learned about in lecture are extremely important for their research. Week 9  



MIT Bio Faculty  
MIT Bio Faculty  

Profiles of MIT Faculty, Dept of Biology