Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Phillip D. Zamore

  • 2007-Dec-20 – 2007-Dec-21
Photograph of Phillip D. Zamore

Philip D. Zamore's oral history begins with a discussion of his childhood in New York City and Long Island. Explaining his family's emphasis on education and the influence of his father, Zamore detailed his father's illness and death while Zamore attended Harvard University. As an undergraduate at Harvard Zamore developed his interest in science and decided to focus on molecular biology. He spent time in several laboratories including one summer at The Rockefeller University with Sid Strickland and Michael W. Young, though the majority of his laboratory experience was at Massachusetts General Hospital with John H. Hartwig. Staying at Harvard for a semester after graduating to work as a laboratory technician with Michael R. Green, Zamore decided to conduct his graduate research there as well. He moved with Green from Harvard to the University of Massachusetts, Worcester, where his work on snRNP flourished. Subsequently Zamore undertook postdoctoral research with Ruth Lehmann at the Whitehead Institute for Biological Studies at MIT and he collaborated with the laboratories of James R. Williamson and David P. Bartel after Lehmann moved to the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at New York University. After his postdoctoral studies, but before moving to his Principal Investigator position at the University of Massachusetts, Zamore began working in the emerging field of RNAi. He detailed his experiences with RNAi and his early work running his own laboratory including the receipt of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Award. Throughout the interview Zamore discussed the importance of writing and publishing and his relationship with his students, as well as balancing his family life with his career. He also compared government funding to private funding, and criticized the U. S. government for not sponsoring riskier science. Zamore explained his experiences in starting the biotech firm Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and concluded his oral history interview with a discussion of trends in biomedical science, RNA research, and globalization.

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