November 13th, 2010

Эти странные ученые

Отрывки из статьи в Интернете про Роберта Галло:

In the late 1970s the discovery of IL-2, a molecule important in the immune system, occurred despite Gallo's efforts to ignore it. Doris Morgan, a researcher in Gallo's lab, stumbled on a way to grow certain white blood cells. When she presented her results at a weekly lab meeting, Gallo was unimpressed. Others in the lab, however, encouraged her to keep working on it, and she continued without Gallo's knowledge. Eventually, with the help of Frank Ruscetti, a cell biologist, the growing cells were identified as T cells - key elements in the immune system. Gallo said that "growing T cells [wouldn't] lead anywhere," and he ordered Morgan and Ruscetti to stop working on that "'worthless molecule." Not long after Morgan was fired, and she remained unemployed for ten months.

After Morgan was canned, Gallo did little with her discovery. Meanwhile, Kendall Smith, a young professor at Dartmouth, started to follow up Morgan's finding. Over the next four years, the Dartmouth lab isolated IL-2, the molecule responsible for the growth that Morgan had observed, and began to determine its role in the immune system. By then Gallo had finally been forced to understand the importance of Morgan's discovery. Ever since, he has claimed credit not only for Morgan and Ruscetti's result (the long-term growth off cells) but also for the Dartmouth discovery. In the early 1980s Gallo went to a meeting in France where he was asked, "Are you still working with Ruscetti on IL-2?" Gallo reportedly answered that Ruscetti worked for him and that he, not Ruscetti, was the brains behind the project. When he returned to Bethesda, Gallo was so angry over this imagined slight that he didn't speak to Ruscetti for months.

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Doris Morgan's 1975 "accident" (her word) made it easier to determine what viruses infect T cells, and ultimately led to the discovery of HTLV-1. Gallo's lab had been looking for such viruses without success for years when Bernie Poiesz arrived in 1978 for a postdoctoral fellowship. Within months, with Ruscetti's help, Poiesz found a retrovirus in a patient with lymphoma, a kind of T-cell cancer. It was the first cancer retrovirus isolated from a human. Poiesz and Ruscetti co-wrote a paper reporting their results. When it was nearly finished, Gallo called Ruscetti and said he had a few revisions he wanted to make. Ruscetti said he would get Poiesz and be right over. Gallo said, "No, come alone." When Ruscetti arrived, Gallo said, "You know, Frank, the person in the lab who did the work doesn't always have to be first author." Ruscetti took the conventional view that the person who did most of the work, who had most of the creative input - in this case, Poiesz - should be first author (that is, his name should come first in the byline). Gallo said, "Frank, with an attitude like that you'll never get ahead in life." Ruscetti stood firm; Poiesz was first author.

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All the credit was not enough for Gallo. He also expended enormous energy to corner the market on all future related discoveries. After Poiesz's fellowship in Gallo's lab ended. Poiesz went on to a job at the State University of New York Medical Center in Syracuse. There he applied for a grant to do further research on HTLV-1. Gallo was one of the reviewers of the grant and, in his review, implied that Poiesz wasn't competent to do research on HTLV-1 - the retrovirus Poiesz himself had isolated. Poiesz phoned Gallo and, in a brief conversation, threatened legal action, Gallo then wrote a new, positive review. Ruscetti fared much worse. Gallo fired him and then worked to prevent him from getting another job. When Ruscetti asked why he was being fired, Gallo replied, "Well, because you're getting too much credit."

Уфф, а на вид - такой милый дедушка...

Кстати...

...совершенно никогда не знаешь, откуда ждать лажи. Люк Монтанье в своих воспоминаниях по поводу присуждения ему Нобелевской премии называет Дорис Морган Денисом Морганом. Вот и ищи потом Дениса Моргана.