Three of medicine’s most charismatic giants (Robert Lefkowitz, Joseph Goldstein, and Michael Brown) interview each other. Lefkowitz (Duke University) is known for his seminal discoveries in understanding G protein-coupled receptor function. The legendary partnership between Brown and Goldstein (University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center) has spanned four decades. Together they were awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine acknowledging their discovery of the LDL cholesterol receptor and its role in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Together, they talk about their beginnings in science, where they got their scientific inspiration, how to be a good mentor, and how to deal with scientific celebrity.
For the first of our series Conversations with Giants in Medicine, we spoke with Harold E. Varmus, MD, who has been the director of the National Cancer Institute since July 2010. He has previously served as director of the National Institutes of Health (1993–1999) and as president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2000–2010). Among his many awards, Dr. Varmus was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with J. Michael Bishop in recognition of their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.