Mark D. Fleming begins the interview discussing his childhood, which was dominated by his father's job at IBM [International Business Machines]. Fleming moved to various communities in the Eastern United States, where the majority of his friends also had fathers working for IBM; a scientific and technological atmosphere pervaded his childhood. Fleming discussed his matriculation at Princeton University and the academic influence of organic chemistry professor Maitland Jones, Jr. Throughout his undergraduate career, Fleming conducted research during summers at the University of Vermont, where he met his future wife as well as where he developed an interest in blood research. Following graduation from Princeton, Fleming received a Marshall Scholarship, which allowed him to pursue D Phil work with Sir Jack E. Baldwin at the University of Oxford; Fleming described the differences between scientific research in Europe and the United States in some detail. Following his D Phil work, Fleming undertook medical training at the Harvard Medical School's Health, Sciences, and Technology Program, which was academically rigorous and stimulating. He developed into a clinically-oriented research pathologist, beginning with his work in Laurie Glimcher's laboratory at the Harvard University School of Public Health and continuing into his post-doctoral research with Nancy Andrews at Children's Hospital. Due to a unique job offer at Children's Hospital, Fleming smoothly transitioned from post-doctoral researcher to full-time principal investigator. Throughout the interview, Fleming discussed issues related to funding and laboratory management and the manner in which he encourages the academic growth of his own research students. The interview concludes with a discussion of broader issues in the biomedical sciences including increasing the racial diversity of students and of faculty in the sciences, scientific literacy, and collaborations.
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