Jochen Buck was born and grew up in Reutlingen, Germany, in the Swabian Alb. His father was a teacher of science in the Gymnasium. His mother, a housewife, came from a middle-class family of butchers, and Jochen might have been expected to follow in the family business. Instead, he became interested in politics early, as a result perhaps of the Vietnam War. Instead of performing his national service in the army, he became a conscientious objector, working with disabled youths. His early interest in mathematics waned, and he decided to become a doctor. But in medical school at the University of Tübingen, he discovered that he loved scientific research; and he added to his MD studies a PhD, with his dissertation dealing with interferon. He worked in Ulrich Hammerling’s lab, where he localized cell growth caused by autocrine growth factor. He accepted a postdoctoral position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working with Vitamin A and discovering retro-retinoids. He stayed at Sloan-Kettering for a few years until accepting an assistant professorship at Cornell University Medical College. He is now an associate at Cornell, where his lab and Lonny Levin’s share space and where he and Levin work together on adenylyl cyclase. He lives in New York City with his wife, Chantal Duteau-Buck, and two children. He has won several awards and continues to publish articles.
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