As an undergraduate at Amherst College, I was devoted to Dickensian novels and antiestablishment journalism while marginally fulfilling premedical requirements.
The NCI scientific programme leaders meet regularly to ensure that we are not ignoring highly original proposals and that we are not creating an unbalanced grant portfolio.
The public schools I attended were dominated by athletics and rarely inspiring intellectually, but I enjoyed a small circle of interesting friends despite my ineptitude at team sports and my preference for reading.
I keep encouraging the pharmaceutical companies to put more money into R&D.
In preparation for a career in academic medicine, I worked as a medical house officer at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital from 1966 to 1968 and then joined Ira Pastan's laboratory at the National Institutes of Health as a Clinical Associate.
When high school students ask to spend their afternoons and weekends in my laboratory, I am amazed: I didn't develop that kind of enthusiasm for science until I was 28 years old.