(8) Other Colleagues

Kandel’s autobiography is full of name-dropping. He describes all his colleagues in superlative terms. His account of the history of neuroscience likewise sounds like a hagiography or religious adoration of past scientists.

In thinking about the students and postdoctoral fellows with whom I have collaborated in my laboratory, I am reminded of the painting workshop of the Renaissance artist Andrea del Verrocchio…filled with a succession of gifted artists, including Leonardo da Vinci…When I give talks, I tell my audience, “This new culture system was developed by Kelsey Martin, this CREB activator and repressor were found by Dusan Bartsch, and these wonderful prion-like molecules at the synapse were discovered by Kausik Si!” (p.418)

Table: Collaborators mentioned in In Search of Memory, with Kandel’s comments.

Walter Gilbert

an extraordinary person, one of the most intelligent, gifted, and versatile biologists of the second half of the twentieth century
Dominick Purpura extremely bright, technically strong, and highly entertaining
Angelique Arvantiaki-Chalazonitis a senior, highly accomplished scientist
Irving Kupfermann a gifted an idiosyncratic behaviorist
Vincent Castellucci a delightful and highly cultivated Canadian scientist…who regularly trounced me in tennis
Robert Hawkins an insightful young psychologist
Craig Baily a talented and creative young cell biologist
Paul Greengard a gifted biologist
Steven Siegelbaum a technically gifted young biophysicist
Richard Axel remarkably interesting, intelligent, and generous
Richard Scheller creative and bold, extraordinary
Tom Jessell the leading scientist working on the development of the vertebrate nervous system
Kelsey Martin an extremely gifted cell biologist
Kausik Si a remarkably original and effective scientist
Seth Grant, Mark Mayford talented postdoctoral fellows
Amit Etkin a bold and creative Ph.D. student