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Oral history interview with Charles M. Rubin

  • 1992-Nov-05 (First session)
  • 1992-Nov-07 (Second session)
  • 1992-Nov-09 (Third session)

Oral history interview with Charles M. Rubin

  • 1992-Nov-05 (First session)
  • 1992-Nov-07 (Second session)
  • 1992-Nov-09 (Third session)

Charles M. Rubin grew up in Deal, New Jersey. He was especially interested in science and mathematics, enjoying problem-solving. Rubin entered the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree. He spent summers as a counselor at a camp for children with disabilities; he continued to visit the children during the school year; and when he was in medical school, he worked in the camp infirmary. Inspired by Bertram Lubins course in genetics, he decided to enter medicine. He studied chromosome abnormalities in the lab of William Mellman, conducting research on spina bifida; he found (and still finds) gratification in helping sick children. He was admitted to Tufts University School of Medicine, about which he discusses his medical school classes and his interest in academic medicine. He took electives at three different childrens hospitals, learned the health needs of inner-city children, and decided to specialize in pediatric oncology. Rubin did subspecialty training in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Minnesota. Studying cytogenetics with Diane C. Arthur increased his interest in research, and he began studying chromosome damage in recipients of chemotherapy and radiation; Rubins study of retinoblastoma recurrence has since led to more aggressive treatment. Rubin accepted a fellowship at the University of Chicago to acquire more training in research; there he found a clinical focus in Janet D. Rowleys lab. He began conducting further research on chromosome abnormalities and studying large pieces of DNA with pulsed field gel electrophoresis.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 29 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Institutional location

Oral history number 0572

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • February 10, 1953
  • Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
  • July 17, 2015
  • New Lenox, Illinois, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1975 University of Pennsylvania BA Biology
1979 Tufts University MD

Professional Experience

University of Minnesota

  • 1982 to 1985 Fellow in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

University of Chicago

  • 1985 to 1987 Fellow in Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology of Leukemia
  • 1987 to 1993 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Pritzker School of Medicine
  • 1987 to 1993 Member, Cancer Research Center

Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.)

  • 1986 to 1989 Provisional Attending Physician

Michael Reese Hospital

  • 1988 to 1989 Associate Attending Member

University of Chicago. Hospitals and Clinics

  • 1988 to 1993 Medical Staff, Wyler Children's Hospital
  • 1989 to 1993 Assistant Director, Hematology/Oncology, Cytogenetics Laboratory
  • 1991 to 1993 Co-Director, Joint Pediatric/Medical Cancer Risk Clinic


Year(s) Award
1974 Phi Beta Kappa
1975 Summa Cum Laude
1978 Alpha Omega Alpha
1987 Special fellow, Leukemia Society of American
1987 Leukemia Research Foundation Award
1988 Schweppe Foundation Career Development Award
1988 to 1992 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

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PDF — 672 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

6 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads