David J. Sullivan, Jr.'s interview begins with a discussion of his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama during which he was surrounded by a large and supportive family. He cites the importance of his family's Catholicism, strong work ethic, and their emphasis on Scouting in fostering his interests. After deciding to attend the University of Virginia, Sullivan's scientific interests blossomed throughout the 1980s against the backdrop of HIV and other infectious diseases. While undertaking his medical education at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Sullivan developed an interest in scientific research with clinical applications. Concurrent with his medical education, Sullivan pursued a study of bioethics that he brought to his residency and fellowship work at Washington University in St. Louis. Before moving to St. Louis, Missouri, however, Sullivan worked at a clinic in Mussoorie, India, during the last few months of medical school. Throughout the interview, Sullivan described his service work in the community, including his time in India, and how community service allowed him to meet the Dalai Lama. While in St. Louis, Sullivan worked with Daniel E. Goldberg and concentrated his infectious disease research on the field of malaria. Continuing his efforts on heme crystallization and Zinc photoporphyrin-9, Sullivan brought his malaria research to Johns Hopkins University. Shortly after beginning as a principal investigator, Sullivan received a Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. He described the impact of the award as well as his perceptions of the annual meetings held during his four years as a Scholar. The interview concludes with Sullivan's discussion of biomedical funding, science after September 11th, and biomedical ethics in relation to funding.
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