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.