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Having to decide quickly to leave Czechoslovakia


The last time I applied for a job
Jan Klein Scientist
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Actually from that time on, if I think of it, my application to the academy... to the admission to the Academy of Science for the PhD... into the PhD programme was the last application I ever made about a job. Since that time it was always offered to me. I never looked for a job... it came by itself.

But... so Don Schreffler invited me and I spent in Ann Arbor, Michigan five years. First, in his laboratory and then on my own in the Dental School, and then that was... then came a five-year period. For the next five years I was offered a job at Dallas at the University of Texas, and finally after five years... another five years came the offer from the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen to become a director of one of the institutes... of the Institute for Biology in Tübingen. Which you know, and that's where our paths crossed and where we get to know each other.

Born in 1936, Jan Klein is a Czech-American immunologist who co-founded the modern science of immunogenetics – key to understanding illness and disease. He is the author or co-author of over 560 scientific publications and of seven books including 'Where Do We Come From?' which examines the molecular evolution of humans. He graduated from the Charles University at Prague in 1955, and received his MS in Botany from the same school in 1958. From 1977 to his retirement in 2004, he was the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology at Tübingen, Germany.

Listeners: Colm O'hUigin

Colm O'hUigin is a senior staff scientist at the US National Cancer Institute. He received his BA, MSc and PhD at the Genetics Department of Trinity College, Dublin where he later returned as a lecturer. He has held appointments at the Center for Population and Demographic Genetics, UT Houston, and at the University of Cambridge. As an EMBO fellow, he moved in 1990 to the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany to work with Jan Klein and lead a research group studying the evolutionary origins of immune molecules, of teeth, trypanosomes and of species.

Tags: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Max Planck Institute, Donald C Shreffler

Duration: 1 minute, 34 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008