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Chapter 11 : The Circuitous Path to Becoming a Physician-Scientist

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The Circuitous Path to Becoming a Physician-Scientist, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

As interesting as the author’s thesis work on plasmid replication was, the author was especially intrigued by the mechanisms by which pathogens, like , , and , caused disease. The author’s almost-buried primal dream of a medical career began to resurface, and the author began to think that a career in infectious diseases might be a perfect marriage of microbiology and medicine. As part of a training program, the author elected to do research project in the Falkow laboratory, which had moved from Georgetown to the University of Washington in the early 1970s. At that point, recombinant DNA techniques, gene sequencing, cloning, agarose gel electrophoresis, endonuclease restriction enzyme analysis, and Southern hybridization were all being used in the lab. The author’s project was to study the mechanisms of multiple antibiotic resistance of strains that had been isolated from patients at the veterans administration hospital (VAH). The most exciting discovery of the author’s career resulted from an encounter with a patient for whom the author was asked to consult as an infectious disease physician. It is the dream of every microbiologist and infectious diseases clinician to discover a new disease or a new pathogen, but very few of us have this opportunity.

Citation: Tompkins L. 2000. The Circuitous Path to Becoming a Physician-Scientist, p 80-87. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch11

Key Concept Ranking

Infectious Diseases
0.59503984
Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
0.54791266
Gram-Negative Bacilli
0.45057955
Infection Transmission Mode
0.4427858
Immune Systems
0.44275776
Legionella pneumophila
0.40350878
0.59503984
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Figure 1

Inoculating cultures in the clinical laboratory.

Citation: Tompkins L. 2000. The Circuitous Path to Becoming a Physician-Scientist, p 80-87. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch11
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Citation: Tompkins L. 2000. The Circuitous Path to Becoming a Physician-Scientist, p 80-87. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch11
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References

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1. Segal, E. D.,, J. Cha,, S. Falkow,, and L. S. Tompkins. 1999. Altered states: Involvement of phosphorylated CagA in the induction of host cellular growth changes by Helicobacter pylori. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96:1455914564.
2. Tompkins, L. S. 1992. The use of molecular methods in infectious diseases. N. Engl. J. Med. 327:12901297.
3. Segal, E. D.,, J. Shon,, and L. S. Tompkins. 1992. Characterization of Helicobacter pylori urease mutants. Infect. Immun. 60:18831889.
4. Lowry, P. W.,, R. J. Blankenship,, W. Gridley,, N. J. Troup,, and L. S. Tompkins. 1991. A cluster of Legionella sternal-wound infections due to postoperative topical exposure to contaminated tap water. N. Engl. J. Med. 324:109112.
5. Relman, D. A.,, J. S. Loutit,, T. M. Schmidt,, S. Falkow,, and L. S. Tompkins. 1990. The agent of bacillary angiomatosis. An approach to the identification of uncultured pathogens. N. Engl. J. Med. 323:15731580.
6. Miller, J. F.,, W. J. Dower,, and L. S. Tompkins. 1988. High-voltage electroporation of bacteria: Genetic transformation of Campylobacter jejuni with plasmid DNA. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:856860.
7. Tompkins, L. S.,, J. J. Plorde,, and S. Falkow. 1980. Molecular analysis of R-factors from multiresistant nosocomial isolates. J. Infect. Dis. 141:625636.

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