Women in Science: An Interview with Dr Joan Steitz

Photo taken from ASCB (http://ascb.org/our-people-yale-s-joan-steitz-named-to-royal-society/) "HHMI Dr. Joan Steitz is seen posing for a portrait on the campus of Yale University on Friday, November 16, 2012 in New Haven. (Brian Ach/AP Images for HHMI)"

Photo taken from ASCB (http://ascb.org/our-people-yale-s-joan-steitz-named-to-royal-society/) “HHMI Dr. Joan Steitz is seen posing for a portrait on the campus of Yale University on Friday, November 16, 2012 in New Haven. (Brian Ach/AP Images for HHMI)”

This past July, McGill’s Department of Biochemistry hosted one of the most prominent female figures in the biological sciences: Dr Joan Steitz. Having been invited repeatedly over the past 13 years, the seminar finally took place in room 1034 of the McIntyre Building. The seminar saw a very big turn-out, including most of the biochemistry faculty members and graduate students from various departments in the life sciences.

Dr Joan Steitz walked in with an air of confidence and a general disposition of compassion. She was dressed in an elegant suit of sky blue and gray; hair beautifully coiffed up in a timeless updo and a naturally glowing complexion. The screen flashed with the title of her talk: “Non-coding RNAs with a viral twist”. For the next hour, Steitz discussed her current research and findings on how non-coding RNAs in the genome play an important role in viral infections and proliferation, specifically, the gamma-herpesvirus.

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