Profile: Aaron Shatkin ’56, H’79 (Bowdoin Magazine)

Aaron Shatkin '56, H'79 (Illustration: Chelee Ross '12)

 

This profile originally appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Bowdoin magazine.

Bowdoin major: Chemistry

Hometown: Norwood, Rhode Island

Title: Professor of Microbiology, Molecular Genetic & Immunology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; University Professor of Molecular Biology, Rutgers University; Director, Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine (CABM).

Greatest influence: On life issues, my family, and on science, my teachers including Joseph Rohloff (high school), Dr. Bill Root (Bowdoin Chem. Professor), Dr. Ed L . Tatum (Nobel Laureate & Professor, Rockefeller University, my Ph.D. mentor).

Most rewarding part of my job: Seeing students and others I’ve mentored at CA BM and elsewhere become independent, accomplished researchers and leaders in their fields in many different countries.

Greatest accomplishment: In general, identifying and pursuing/enjoying the important things in life; In my career, discovering critical, early steps in the mechanism of gene expression in human viruses and cells.

Favorite Bowdoin memory: An unheated summer cottage shared with Roland Di Leone for sophomore and junior years.

What actor would play you in a movie? Jack Nicholson or Denzel Washington.

I can’t live without: Music and art of all genres from Mozart to Puccini to Dylan and Rembrandt to Homer to Warhol.

When I was young I wanted to be: A scientist, from as long as I can remember.

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