Home Institution: Duke University
Major: Public Policy/History
Interests: Reading; listening to classical music; watching tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics.
IGSP Summer Fellowship Program Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan
Summer Research Project: My summer research is about the origins of recombinant DNA, and I am trying to discern the contributions by three graduate students from Stanford's Biochemistry Department, namely Peter Lobban, Janet Mertz, and John Morrow. What motivated me is the Cohen-Boyer patent, which I feel has created a social misconception that Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer alone were responsible for a revolutionary technology. Through oral histories, I am working to reconstruct the different threads leading up to Cohen and Boyer's experiments and the patent filing in November 1974. By including the three students in my account of the early history of recombinant DNA, I hope to gain a more realistic appreciation of that exciting period.