Andrew Koff was born and raised in New York the elder child of four siblings, with three younger sisters. He attended Long Beach High School in New York, influenced by Jeffrey Elias, his high school biology teacher. Koff matriculated at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, majoring in political science. While an undergraduate he worked as a technician in Peter Tegtmeyer's lab on SV40 large T-antigen; he decided to remain at Stony Brook for his graduate studies and researched herpes simplex virus replication. From there he began a postdoctoral fellowship in James M. Roberts's laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington, studying cyclin E; he collaborated with Joan Massague on cyclin E-CDK2 activity. After Seattle, Koff accepted a position at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, and focused his lab on p27 interactions and regulation, on developing mouse models mimicking p27 activity, on cyclins in meiosis, and on angiogenesis. The interview concludes with his thoughts on grant writing and the peer review process; balancing family and career; the importance of being familiar with the history and context of a particular field of research; the pressures of publication and production in the scientific community; dealing with a stutter; what it is like to be a primary investigator at a prestigious research institute; and the impact of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences on his career.
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