Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Mark D. Biggin

  • 1996-Mar-04
  • 1996-Mar-06 – 1996-Mar-07

Mark D. Biggin grew up in Chesterfield, England, near the Peak District National Park, where he cycled the moors and hills from an early age. He attended a local school, tracked on the basis of his IQ. He remembers one inspiring teacher of biology, from whom he developed an early interest in science, originally wanting to be a veterinarian. He attended the University of Lancaster in Lancaster, England; he so loved working in a lab that he applied to graduate school at Cambridge University, where he joined Frederick Sanger's Division at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology. There he worked in Bart Barrell's lab, where he sequenced Epstein-Barr virus DNA. He became interested in transcription and took up a post-doc at Robert Tjian's lab at U. C. Berkeley. He focused on gene expression in Drosophila; on even-skipped (eve), zeste, GAGA, and NTF; and on homeodomain proteins. He then moved to a professorship in Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where he continues to teach, advise graduate students, and work in the laboratory he started up. He is attempting to define the function of promiscuous homeodomain protein binding—activation and repression—to discover how homeodomain proteins interact in the cell.

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