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Oral history interview with Marcia B. Goldberg

  • 1999-Nov-01 – 1999-Nov-02

Marcia B. Goldberg was born in 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts; the second of four siblings. Goldberg grew up in a very egalitarian family environment full of enrichment and educational opportunities. Although the Goldberg family was not very religious her parents still believed strongly in preserving their Jewish traditions and culture. Goldberg credits her interest in the sciences to an outstanding public education system in Brookline, Massachusetts where she grew up; she especially lauds her high school teachers. Goldberg attended Harvard University, where she received a BA in biology in 1979. At Harvard she developed an interest in physiology, an interest that she parlayed into a desire to attend medical school. She matriculated into Harvard Medical School, where she received her MD in 1984. During medical school, Goldberg traveled extensively, funded by an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship; her travel included a service trip to a hospital in Gabon. She also took a year off between her first and second years to explore the many aspects of medicine by working in various non-profit and volunteer positions. Goldberg pursued her residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she began conducting research on virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae alongside Dr. Stephen B. Calderwood. She then spent several years studying Shigella flexneri pathogenesis in Philippe J. Sansonetti's lab at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Goldberg's current research is still focused on Shigella flexneri and its modalities of mammalian cell infection and pathogenesis. In 1993 Goldberg was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 only to accept an associate professorship at Harvard Medical School shortly thereafter. Goldberg's current research focuses on the IcsA protein of Shigella flexneri and its role in actin assembly during the bacterium's infection of mammalian host cells. Throughout her oral history Goldberg highlights the gender differences that exist throughout the sciences. Goldberg is a Fulbright Scholar and has won many awards and fellowships including an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, a fellowship from l'Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, a Melini Award, and a Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Grant, which she discusses in the oral history.

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