Working with Tom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At the last year of my graduate study, I decided to postdoc either with Tom Steitz to deepen my crystallographic skills or with Richard Henderson to learn electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM). Before I formally applied, I was offered a postdoc position in a molecular biology laboratory at Yale University. I told the principal investigator of my intention to work in the Steitz laboratory. He therefore arranged a meeting with Tom. Since it was not a formal interview, I was not sure what to expect. Tom, dressed in his iconic tweed jacket, greeted me warmly. However, the meeting did not go well, I thought. When Tom asked about my thesis project, I told him about my structural and functional studies of tryptophanyl tRNA synthetase and my experience in using the maximum entropy method for phase optimization in Charlie Carter's laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tom listened carefully. He then asked if I had solved a structure using experimental phases. I sheepishly said, “No.” On my flight back, I was disappointed with myself. However, to my surprise, an email from Tom came next day offering me a position in his laboratory. I moved to New Haven soon after.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructural Insights into Gene Expression and Protein Synthesis
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9789811215865
ISBN (Print)9789811215858
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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