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Nancy H. Hopkins

Amgen Professor of Biology

Amgen Professor of Biology

Nancy H. Hopkins
Amgen Professor of Biology

Nancy Hopkins is an Amgen professor of biology, appointed to encourage research and education in the life sciences. She is an alumna of Radcliffe College and earned a PhD from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Harvard University in 1971. Professor Hopkins joined MIT in 1973 as an assistant professor at the Center for Cancer Research, where she worked on RNA tumor viruses in mice. Her work has helped to identify the role genes play in longevity and cancer predisposition in adult fish (important research that could lead to the treatment and understanding of human ailments). Professor Hopkins chaired the committee that wrote the 1999 Report on the Status of Women Faculty in the School of Science at MIT and she is a contributing author to Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision, a joint project of MIT150 and the MIT Press, edited by MIT professor David Kaiser.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Inspired to become a geneticist by attending a lecture by James Watson.
  • Research identifying genes necessary for normal development in zebra fish.
  • Investigation into status of female faculty at MIT, focusing on less visible forms of gender discrimination.
  • Reactions to the controversy over comments made by Harvard president Lawrence Summers about women in science.

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