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Christina Harrington

Chris Harrington

Associate Director for Shared Resources for the Knight Cancer Institute and Associate Director of the Integrated Genomics Laboratory, Oregon Health & Science University

By David Zierler, Director of the Caltech Heritage Project
August 9, 2022

DAVID ZIERLER: This is David Zierler, Director of the Caltech Heritage Project. It's Tuesday, August 9th, 2022. I'm very happy to be here with delighted to be here with Dr. Christina A. Harrington. Chris, it is so nice to be with you. Thank you for joining me today.

CHRISTINA A. HARRINGTON: My pleasure to be here with you. Thank you.

ZIERLER: Chris, to start, would you please tell me your title and institutional affiliation?

HARRINGTON: [laugh] I have a couple of titles. I'm the Associate Director for Shared Resources for our Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health & Science University. I am also the Associate Director of the Integrated Genomics Laboratory, which includes my leadership of two research core laboratories, all of which are affiliated and part of Oregon Health & Science University.

ZIERLER: Chris, to give a sense of your overall responsibilities in a given week or a month, depending on how flexible these things are, how much of your time is devoted to professorial duties like mentorship and teaching, how much of it is administrative, and how much of it is the research, the work itself?

HARRINGTON: I'm actually in a really interesting niche, although I do have a faculty appointment. I'm just going to call it OHSU because Oregon Health & Science University is too much of a mouthful to say every time. Twenty-two years ago, I actually started here at the university in what was a growing area of laboratory—what do I call it?—laboratory entities that universities were developing and supporting, which are these research cores. What they are is—let me get it right. [laugh] I usually am more glib. But they are centralized laboratories available to all university faculty that house advanced technologies and expertise in particular methodologies. There are research cores for imaging. There's research cores for proteomics analysis. I was recruited to set up a research core and laboratory in genomics, using technologies that were state-of-the-art 22 years ago. What we do in our research cores is we're experts on this technology. We work to keep up-to-date on the state-of-the-art instruments, which can be quite expensive, up to $1 million or more. Often, it's 200 to 300 thousand but, still, we house a set of equipment that's hard for individual laboratories to purchase and maintain on their own. The idea is that the research core labs are available to everyone to facilitate research. Then I have a staff that I hired and trained to become experts in using these technologies, and in performing assays using faculty research lab samples. What we do is we work with dozens to 50 or more different laboratories on campus in a year, and help them with their research projects by doing these niche services. For instance, the Integrated Genomics Laboratory houses state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing technologies, so allows high throughput sequencing for RNA and DNA analysis. We're basically like kind of a mini business [laugh] inside the university. We can't make profits, and our mission is to facilitate the research across campus with technologies and expertise that faculty need in their research programs.

ZIERLER: Chris, within your own work, and then across OHSU generally, what aspects of the work are strictly fundamental science, and what are geared toward translational things like therapies and clinical value?

HARRINGTON: Both, we do both. If I had to break it down, well, probably when I started, it was more like 80/20: 80 basic research; 20 more translational, working with clinical specimens, working with the physician scientists on clinical studies. Now, I'd say it's probably around 50/50.

ZIERLER: What have been some of the advances in the basic sciences that have allowed for this shift where there's an equal proportion that's devoted now toward translational?

HARRINGTON: Well, I think that comes from a couple of directions. One is there has been a major drive from the federal funding agencies, such as National Institutes of Health, towards translational research, taking these basic discoveries or asking questions directly related to appropriate therapies, and using the technologies and approaches that we have to try to move things forward in those areas. I think that's one driver. The other has been educating our physician scientists in how to use these technologies in their clinical research programs, and so basically generating enthusiasm, not just from our lab—this is a field-wide activity—but helping people see the opportunities that taking these kinds of approaches allows. That's certainly been the case for what we sort of put under the very large umbrella of genomics in that, nowadays, with the technologies that we have, we can sequence a whole genome in a couple of days or less. We can look at hundreds, thousands of different blood samples, and look at the expression of genes across a patient distribution, and determine how the manifestation of a particular disease or diagnosis is different among individuals, or how it responds to treatment—or doesn't respond. I think it's been both from the development of the technologies, and the expertise itself, through education, and through a real drive on the part of many scientists, and the funding institutions, the national funding institutions themselves.

ZIERLER: Chris, scientifically and administratively, how much overlap is there between the Integrated Genomics Laboratory and the Gene Profiling and Shared Resource, the DNA Services Core?

HARRINGTON: Sorry, I didn't go into describing it (earlier). The Integrated Genomics Laboratory houses—

ZIERLER: I see.

HARRINGTON: —three core laboratories: a sequencing shared resource, which I don't direct; a gene profiling shared resource, which I do direct; and then a DNA services core, which I currently oversee.

ZIERLER: How much of all of this research is geared toward the genetic understanding of cancer specifically?

HARRINGTON: Probably 50% of the work we do targets either basic mechanisms of cancer and cancer cells. The rest is more therapeutically focused around cancer. But altogether, probably about 50% of the work we do in the Integrated Genomics Lab is from investigators and studies that are focused on cancer.

ZIERLER: I asked before about mentorship. Do you interact with graduate students or postdocs? Is that part of your responsibilities?

HARRINGTON: Yes and no. I don't mentor students or postdocs directly, for the most part, in that they wouldn't come into my lab and have a research project that I would oversee them for over the course of several years. But we do educational forums that are open to anyone on campus. I occasionally lecture in graduate student classes. I meet one-on-one with researchers that include graduate students and postdoctoral researchers all the time in terms of helping them design their studies, and plan their experiments, and be ready to interpret the data based on the technologies that our cores make available to them. Frequently in the past, I have had what we call summer student summer interns, and I used to have those almost yearly. That kind of got shut down with the pandemic. Those tended to be high school students—

ZIERLER: Oh, wow.

HARRINGTON: —actually, who were looking for research experience. It has been very rewarding in terms of working with those students, showing them what we do, and allowing them to do a very focused summer research project. I have also worked with a couple of undergraduates in the past, again, in a more focused way in terms of perhaps a summer project that they would perform in my lab, and I would mentor them as part of exposing them to the world, the wonderful world, of research.

ZIERLER: Chris, by necessity, obviously, you have a very broadly conceived research agenda. Going from your doctoral work to your postdoc, what is your area of expertise, your academic niche from graduate school?

HARRINGTON: Initially, I described it as molecular biology. Through graduate school and my PhD and my postdoctoral research, I became very focused on molecular neurobiology, and that's where I did a lot of my postdoctoral work. But then when I started to work in these technology areas, and then became a core director, I really saw my expertise, what I had learned, what I had been nurturing over the years was a focus in molecular biology and biotechnology, and so I'd call myself a molecular biologist with deep experience in genomics technologies.

ZIERLER: Chris, I'll ask a very wide-angle history of science question. In the 1950s, thinking about molecular biology before we really understood anything—there's Watson and Crick; there's Meselson and Stahl—by the time you came of age scientifically, when you were doing your own research in a graduate setting, how far developed or mature do you think the field was at that time from the vantage point of 2022 looking back?

HARRINGTON: When I was doing my graduate studies, there had been significant development in terms of knowledge around DNA and RNA structurally, which was important for the areas in which I focused. As I was a graduate student, that was around the time that several seminal technologies were developing, one of which was PCR, which was huge in terms of what it allowed all of us to do, and we still use it today widely. The other was chemical sequencing of DNA, something that was called Maxam-Gilbert sequencing at the time. Those were things that ultimately got incorporated into my graduate research, and it was very exciting because I was using state-of-the-art technologies. Towards the end of my graduate work, the technique of Sanger sequencing or dideoxynucleotide sequencing was taking off, and so I did a lot of that, and I became sort of the resident expert for that technology at the research institute I was working at at that time. I thought that was all amazing at the time. Then scientific and biological knowledge, scientific knowledge in general, and the technologies that we have to work with have just continued to develop in amazing ways. When I was doing my research as a graduate student, I would spend many months just trying to get a clean amplified fragment of DNA that I could then sequence, so a very short fragment. By the time I was working in California in the mid-90s to late '90s, that's when technology such as DNA microarrays were starting to take off, which allowed us now to look initially at hundreds of genes, and then thousands [laugh] of genes at one time on a tiny chip of glass as our tool. I was blown away by that. That's really what took me into a deep technology focus. I just find that so exciting. Then, of course, it's continued. We have all these amazing further tools today.

ZIERLER: Chris, how important is industry in your work? Are you interfacing with biotechnology companies? Is that really important for what you do?

HARRINGTON: I have worked for two biotechnology companies as part of my work history, and I found them to be very interesting experiences. I also think it gave me a really good perspective on the importance of being open to industry, both larger industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, and biotechnology, which tends to be more flexible, interesting, and developing technologies and approaches, novel technologies and approaches themselves. Today, I do continue to occasionally work with biotechnology companies. As a core director, my core is open to anyone who wants to use our services, and so, occasionally, over the last couple of decades, we have worked with some local or more distant biotechnology companies—sometimes in terms of tweaking the technologies that we're actually using in the core lab; other times just because they want to use our expertise to fill in in some area that they're researching where they don't have the technology or expertise themselves. But I certainly see great value to the biotechnology industry, and of course, the instruments and technologies we work with in the Genomics Core Lab are largely the product of biotechnology companies.

ZIERLER: Chris, with all of this emphasis on the advances of technology, what are the frontiers as you look forward? What are the big things that we still don't have a handle on, despite all of these advances?

HARRINGTON: That's a good question. One of the areas that's of intense interest, and that is growing both for research involvement and technology development, is being able to bring all these molecular biology tools to a spatial understanding of what goes on in a tissue or organism. There's already development in that area. It's given the name "spatial profiling." But there's still room for greater growth and resolution, and for a broader application rather than having to look at a tiny section of a brain or something on a slide. I think that's an area that's always been of interest to me, is being able to look at things in situ, and see what's really there in terms of the genomic information, in terms of the genes that are expressed, in terms of the molecular structures that are driving activities in underlying disease. I think there's much room to grow there, and there's going to continue to be growth. But the reason I kind of hesitated when you asked is one of the things that I see as someone that's part of a laboratory that's helping people generate lots and lots of data, I think there's still a lot of work to do in terms of assembling this data, integrating this data so that we can maximally understand it and interpret it in terms of underlying mechanisms and in terms of therapies and treatments.

ZIERLER: Well, Chris, now that we've looked to the future, let's now go back, set the stage the high school for you. First of all, where did you grow up? What high school did you attend?

HARRINGTON: I grew up in Los Angeles, California, so right near Pasadena, and I went to school at a Catholic girls high school in Hollywood, Immaculate Heart High School. When I was describing myself to others years ago, it was like I came from an all-girls environment to an all-boys environment [laugh], going from high school to Caltech, which was pretty shocking. [laugh]

ZIERLER: What were some of the family considerations in sending you to Catholic school?

HARRINGTON: Well, my family was Catholic, so I think it was particularly my mother's expectation that her children for elementary school and high school would go to a Catholic school. I didn't really have much choice in it. [laugh] I tried to rebel at one point in high school but didn't get very far. I don't know how much it was my mother's perspective on the value of education for an adolescent girl in an all-girls environment, how important she thought that was. But I know in retrospect, I look back on that, and I think that was good. I think it set me up to be pretty fearless in terms of math and science. I loved it. I did it. [laugh] No one stood in my way. I sent my own daughter to a Catholic girls high school. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Well, there you go. Chris, you were part of—if I'm correct—the inaugural class, the very first class that admitted women.

HARRINGTON: I was.

ZIERLER: All right.

HARRINGTON: Yeah.

ZIERLER: The question there is, when you were considering colleges, was there news broadcast to you that "Listen up, everybody, Caltech is now admitting women"? Was that on your radar? Were you aware of this change?

HARRINGTON: Yeah, you had, I think, mentioned that in one of your emails, and I was trying to remember. I think there must've been an article in the local paper, probably the Los Angeles Times, about that because I think the person that brought it to my attention initially was my father. I think he was really excited, because my father was someone that was very bright, very technically focused but had never gone to college. But he really valued knowledge and engineering and science.

ZIERLER: He encouraged you?

HARRINGTON: Yeah. I think when he saw that, he thought, "Oh, you should apply. This would be great." At the time, I was like, "Eh, OK." [laugh]

ZIERLER: Now, were you at the top of your class? Did you do really well on standard exams?

HARRINGTON: I did really well on standard exams, yeah. I wasn't number one in my class. I'm not even really sure (where I stood.). Maybe I was in the top 10, something like that. I certainly tested well. I had really good grades. I was a good all-round student, although I definitely did really well in math and science, areas which some of my friends were more intimidated by.

ZIERLER: Did you apply to Caltech more on a lark, or did you all sort of apply to MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, schools like that?

HARRINGTON: I didn't apply much on the East Coast. No one in my family had completed college. I was the first one. I think the knowledge of the East Coast colleges—because my dad had grown up on the West Coast; my mom in the Midwest—it didn't really have as much of a lure back then, and maybe it wasn't even talked about that much, at least in my family. Mostly, I applied on the West Coast because I was really aware of Stanford, and the School of Engineering at Berkeley. That was (the) one I was actually really excited about. I thought I was going to study engineering. I think the only East Coast college I applied to was Brown, and I can't even remember why now. Actually, I'm not sure if this still happens today, but you would take the national merit exam, and then you'd get all these letters from different colleges if you scored well, kind of seeking you out. I think Brown sent me a really nice letter, and said, "Oh, you should apply. We'd love to have you, blah, blah, blah." But, other than that, I did sort of the West Coast application thing.

ZIERLER: When you actually got into Caltech, did you appreciate that you would be part of this pioneer cohort? Was that attractive to you?

HARRINGTON: Yeah, I think I did. The only thing is when I got into Caltech, I did not decide that I was going to go. I was definitely weighing going to Berkeley because I also got into the School of Engineering there. But then, I think, largely through conversations [laugh] with my dad and probably with some of my teachers, I thought, "Yeah, this could be a really exciting opportunity," so I did ultimately make the decision to go to Caltech.

ZIERLER: Growing up in Los Angeles, were you aware of Caltech's reputation, its rigor, how difficult it would be as an undergraduate?

HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, I was. [laugh] I thought you were going to say pranks.

ZIERLER: [laugh]

HARRINGTON: But, yeah, I was. I was aware that it was a very high-tier, very rigorous college, probably part of which made me a little bit nervous about going there. But, yeah, I knew. I certainly understood that it was top-tier, and that it was going to be hard work, but a great opportunity.

ZIERLER: Chris, set the stage for the first few days on campus. What was that like for you, and how central in your memory was the fact that you were part of this inaugural cohort of women?

HARRINGTON: [laugh] There was no way to avoid it. [laugh] We were 30 women with I think it was like around 180 men in the frosh class, plus the rest of the undergraduate and graduate students, most of which were men as well. I just kind of remember it as being exciting, overwhelming, sometimes difficult to navigate. At least in the environment I was in, you were really dealing—honestly, I can't call them that; "men." They were boys. [laugh] I was a girl, and they were boys. [laugh] That's who I was dealing with all day. There was some interaction with the other women that had gotten accepted in that first class. But I was just aware that there was a lot of social navigation that had to be addressed and worked out. It was exciting but also difficult, I would say.

ZIERLER: Sure. Chris, do you remember a scramble in terms of accommodating the women? Campus is set up for men for 50-plus years. Were there bathrooms that needed to be re-signed, were there dormitories that needed to be refigured, or was your sense that was all kind of worked out, at least that part was seamless?

HARRINGTON: No, it felt like a little bit of it was on the fly. I ended up in Ricketts House, and I think the way they did that the first year is they put all the women in one corridor with our own bathroom. I think I'm remembering that right. I think that pretty quickly broke down the next year in that there was a thought that sort of [laugh] segregating the women in one area maybe wasn't what the women wanted or what was best. I can't quite remember the timeframe over which we then we kind of got more distributed out within the house.

ZIERLER: Chris, do you remember any acknowledgement officially by administration at the institute that this decision was made, that we are now welcoming women as part of the undergraduate community, or was that really not acknowledged?

HARRINGTON: Oh, wow, you're making me reach.

ZIERLER: [laugh]

HARRINGTON: I think, I'm not certain, but I think there was some sort of formal acknowledgement. I think I got a letter or something to that effect. I think there were some attempts early on [laugh] to kind of gather, what I remember, the 30 or 33 of us together in a couple of get-togethers to kind of help us with this transition, and support us integrating into the Caltech environment. But I don't remember the details of that. I just have this kind of vague memory that something like that happened.

ZIERLER: What was the social scene among the women? Did they sort of band together, just given the proportions?

HARRINGTON: No, that's what I was saying. I spent most of my time with the other guys in my classes or in the Ricketts dorm. I had some interactions, obviously, with the other women. But I don't recall, apart from maybe the first week or two, maybe spending more time getting to know the women in my dorm. I think there was some attempt by the wife of the RA in our dorm to kind of meet with the women, and make sure that they were doing OK, and were integrating into the environment all right. I don't know. Maybe there was a more structured program, but I don't remember it.

ZIERLER: Chris, this is as much a cultural as it is a generational question, but you're conveying that this was not really a big deal. It wasn't your focus. It wasn't Caltech's focus. How much of that is simply about the women themselves, those undergraduate women didn't want this to be made a big deal out of, that you were there for the science, and that was really the focus?

HARRINGTON: I think that was probably a lot of it. Certainly for myself, I didn't want to be set in a different category for some reason, just because I was female. I wanted to be part of the environment that I'd come there to join. [laugh] For me, within the first year, because I had gone to high school and been raised in the Los Angeles area, I actually had a number of friends, female friends that would come and visit me, and they were delighted to be [laugh] around so many guys. I did kind of have this female cohort that was available to me, and that I socially interacted with along with many of my Caltech male friends, but they mostly came [laugh] from other schools in the area.

ZIERLER: Chris, tell me about the curriculum, the so-called boot camp for undergraduates. How did you fare that first year?

HARRINGTON: It was hard. It was really hard for me. My undergraduate—sorry—my high school education was good. It was not great. That was back before there were, like, advanced placement classes in everything. I didn't have some of the background that quite a few of the other frosh had, especially in the science classes. I was actually given a tutor. I'm trying to remember. I think it was for physics because I found that to be a real challenge, at least initially. Academically, it was very challenging. Parts of it were more straightforward and easier to navigate but there were definitely (challenges), particularly some of the science classes.

ZIERLER: Chris, did you feel pressure as a woman that you had less leeway to make mistakes in class? Did you ever feel things like that?

HARRINGTON: Probably.

ZIERLER: In other words, like, the concern that you might be dismissed just because you're a woman, even though everybody makes mistakes?

HARRINGTON: I think I felt sensitive to that, yeah.

ZIERLER: Would you say that was more internal or external?

HARRINGTON: I would say it was more internal.

ZIERLER: This was not about comments or glances or anything of those kinds of things? This is what you were setting for yourself?

HARRINGTON: Not for me. I remember being part of some conversations where some of the women might've felt some excessive scrutiny, and I did feel that at times. But I really felt the pressure much more socially than academically.

ZIERLER: In what way? What do you mean?

HARRINGTON: Well, as 30 women there, you got a lot of attention. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Right. You don't mean academically? [laugh]

HARRINGTON: You're only 18 years old, and you're trying to kind of figure this all out, and do your own continued social development, and you've got—whatever it was—30 guys for every one woman, or something. Sometimes that was uncomfortable and hard to navigate.

ZIERLER: Chris, did you ever come across the idea, the classic idea, not unique to Caltech, but the resistance to admitting women was certainly wrong-headed but not neanderthal level that they couldn't cut it? It was more along the lines of, "We're going to invest so much into these women, and then what are they going to do after they graduate? They're going to get married, and they're going to drop out of the workforce, and that's going to be a wasted investment." Did you ever feel like that was in the zeitgeist, that it was something that you needed to push against to disprove?

HARRINGTON: Not that I can recall.

ZIERLER: It is the classic justification.

HARRINGTON: No, I know it is, and I probably thought about that much more in later years when I was carving out my professional trajectory while I was having a child and raising her. But I did feel that there were a few niches of resentment about the women coming there because there was like this disruption to the all-boys club at Caltech. I can't remember any direct interaction that I had with anyone that suggested because I was a woman, there was a concern that my education was being wasted. I don't recall that.

ZIERLER: Well, that's good.

HARRINGTON: Yeah.

ZIERLER: I've heard so many positive things about President Harold Brown, that he was a real champion of this development? Did you have any interactions with him? Did you have a sense of his personal feelings about this?

HARRINGTON: Just barely. I think there was a reception at his house sometime early on that first semester or something. I recall him as a positive, open, supportive president. I don't recall any, like, really direct or prolonged interaction with him, or necessarily having an impression that he was really supportive of all of us women. I'm sure he was. I don't have the impression that he wasn't. I think I was just more focused on the world I was having to live in day-to-day.

ZIERLER: Let's get to that world now. Academically, was the game plan for you always to pursue biology, or were you sort of more open at the beginning?

HARRINGTON: No, I thought I was going to do some sort of engineering degree. But after about a year, a year and a half maybe, I found that much of the biology classes and related classes that I was taking were just much more engaging, and many of the engineering classes or related classes that I was taking were damn hard. [laugh]

ZIERLER: [laugh]

HARRINGTON: I decided that I thought that biology was just more, for me, more interesting, and an area that I wanted to focus on. That kind of came about probably sometime in my second year that I made that decision to switch to a biology major.

ZIERLER: Of course, in those days, building that bridge, there really wasn't bioengineering. You couldn't really split that difference at that point.

HARRINGTON: No, no, no, that was not a thing then.

ZIERLER: Right. [laugh] Chris, who were some of the professors in biology that you might credit with sparking this interest, this focus for you?

HARRINGTON: You know what, I thought briefly that you might ask that question, and I should go back and look at the names.

ZIERLER: For example, I know Harry Gray was really supportive.

HARRINGTON: Yeah, Harry Gray was certainly a very stimulating lecturer, very engaging. I enjoyed his classes. I would say he was part of making chemistry and biology feel very exciting and accessible. Many of the classes that I can remember that I liked a lot were later on. It was probably Harry Gray's class—I know there was one other; I can't remember the professor though—early on. But then there were later classes that were more neurobiology focused. What were the…?

ZIERLER: John Allman? I'm not—

HARRINGTON: It was Sperry. I think I took Sperry's class. That was really interesting. Then there was another neuroscientist.

ZIERLER: John Allman does neurobiology, but that might've been later. He might have come on a bit later.

HARRINGTON: It wasn't him. It was basically a neurobiology course that really started teaching you about how the brain is wired, which was taught by Professor Henry Lester.

ZIERLER: Going back to our earlier exchange about advances in DNA and RNA research, as an undergraduate, did you have a historical appreciation for how central Caltech institutionally was in all of these advances, going all the way back to the days of Thomas Hunt Morgan?

HARRINGTON: Not to that level of detail. I knew it had been an important academic institution that had been responsible for and driving a lot of important innovations of the 20th century. Part of that was through discussions with my father, but part of it was also my just kind of being aware of it, and also doing a lot more research after I learned that they had opened up to women. I was aware of some of them before I actually walked on campus and started my undergraduate career, but probably most of the details I learned while I was on campus.

ZIERLER: Chris, as you well knew at the time, I'm sure, there were some faculty that really championed women coming on board for undergraduates, and some who were quite resistant to that.

HARRINGTON: Right.

ZIERLER: Was there intel among the undergraduates—men or women—about which professors were great on this, and which maybe just not so great or not to take classes from?

HARRINGTON: There probably was some of that, and I was aware that there were some faculty that were less enthusiastic. I don't remember any directive or intel to avoid certain classes. But we were aware that there was some resistance that still needed to be confronted. But I can't remember making decisions based on who was teaching a particular class, unless the intel was, "This is a great teacher, and a wonderful class." That was more how I made my decisions.

ZIERLER: Chris, what kind of opportunities did you have for laboratory work as an undergrad? Did you stick around for summers, things like that, especially because you were local?

HARRINGTON: Oh, I see. Obviously, I had laboratory work as part of some of my classes. I can't remember how long I did it now. I think during my first year and a half, I had a part-time job on campus, working in a laboratory, like, washing lab wear and such. I can't remember exactly how long I did that, whether I did it for two years or just a year and a half. Then I took a part-time job, working at the agricultural research station that was in Pasadena. I think I spent at least one summer working there. Then, finally, I did associate myself with the research lab of James Bonner in the biology department, so I did work in his lab I think during my senior year and then for another year. I took a year to work between undergraduate and graduate school, and I worked in that laboratory. But there was none of like the summer SURF stuff and such back then.

ZIERLER: What was the Bonner lab doing at that point?

HARRINGTON: They were largely doing analysis of chromatin, so RNA and DNA analysis. My project that I was working with a postdoctoral scientist there on was looking at the proteins that held chromatin together, so nonhistone and histone proteins.

ZIERLER: Chris, earlier, we talked about all of the technological developments, including in sequencing and, well, primarily sequencing. Were you aware of Lee Hood and what he was doing when you were an undergraduate?

HARRINGTON: I was aware of Lee Hood. I took his class. I knew he was starting to do stuff that was really getting picked up on, and that people thought was exciting. Yeah, I was aware of it. I probably became more aware of it though while I was in graduate school [laugh], and in the impact of a lot of the work he was doing around sequencing and stuff. It continued to develop and become more broadly used.

ZIERLER: Chris, were there any faculty that you considered a mentor when it was time to start thinking about postgraduate options, what you would do after Caltech?

HARRINGTON: Well, I think I probably mostly talked to the people in the Bonner lab that I was working with, so both Dr. Bonner and then the postdoc, Dr. Angeline Douvas, who I was working with. I'm trying to remember. My frosh mentor had been Jerry Pine, who was a great guy. Then after that, it was Seymour Benzer. But I can't recall if he was advising [laugh] me my senior year in terms of graduate school. I certainly had some interesting conversations with him, but I don't recall that it was like directing me in a particular approach.

ZIERLER: Did you know while you were an undergraduate that you wanted to pursue biology in graduate school and even professionally? In other words, was that already the career track that you had envisioned at that point?

HARRINGTON: No. I really didn't know what the next steps were. Remember, I didn't come from an academic family. The question of, well, what do you do after you get a bachelor's of science in biology or, for that matter, engineering or in chemistry or something, was not something that got discussed very much in my family. It was only while I was at Caltech that I saw all these professors and these postdoctoral fellows, and I got to have a better understanding of what the opportunities were in research that I realized there was this potential to continue my education, and be deeply educated and experienced around doing research such that I could then do it in some academic environment. But that was part of why I took that year between undergraduate and graduate school because I wasn't really sure, because I also wanted to do something very practical and that I felt had benefit and, as a 21-year-old woman, I was still trying to figure out what that was, because I actually debated for quite a while, once I decided I was going to go to graduate school, whether I was going to go with biology or psychology; whether I was going to deal with the less physical aspects of behavior (psychology) or what physically underlies our behavior and how we function. Even when I was in graduate school, it was not absolutely clear to me where I was going with that, apart from learning and growing and getting a lot more experience. In fact, it was one of the things that I actually came to complain about with graduate school, is that no one really spent the time in those days, none of the faculty, to try and educate the graduate students around what were the opportunities with a PhD. What were the academic, what were the industrial, what were the government whatever, what were the science communication opportunities and such? No, I did not know where exactly it was taking me.

ZIERLER: Chris, I asked about the first few days when you arrived at Caltech. What about at commencement, 1974? This is the graduation of that first cohort of women. Was there any acknowledgement during graduation ceremonies of this transition?

HARRINGTON: Wow, you are really stretching my memory. [laugh] I suspect there was, but I don't have any clear memory of it. I more just remember the conferring of the degree, and then the celebration at the Athenaeum afterwards.

ZIERLER: What was the game plan for you after you graduated? Did you know what your next steps were already?

HARRINGTON: Yeah, I knew I was going to keep working at Caltech for a while, which is what I did.

ZIERLER: Which labs did you work in?

HARRINGTON: I stayed in the Bonner lab.

ZIERLER: What was the transition? What were some of the new things that the Bonner lab was doing over the course of your time there?

HARRINGTON: I just remember kind of ploughing ahead in the direction that we had been going in terms of characterizing these proteins, trying to figure out what they did and how they did it. I don't remember any, like, novel or new direction that I was engaged in while I was a technician in the lab.

ZIERLER: When did you start thinking about applying to grad schools?

HARRINGTON: Well, I started thinking about it probably my senior year in college. But then, as I said, I decided to delay it a year. Part of that was driven by just wanting to take the time to kind of figure out what I really wanted to do, and part of it was driven by I wanted to make some money [laugh] so I have a little bit of savings built up before I went to graduate school.

ZIERLER: Do you think it was valuable to have that year to sort of consider your options?

HARRINGTON: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

ZIERLER: How did you refine them? How did you make ultimately what was probably a more well-reasoned decision?

HARRINGTON: I think it was by spending some time, myself, looking into opportunities that were out there in either field, and thinking about what I enjoyed the most, and just thinking that I really like biology, and I wanted to know more, and I wanted to discover things. One of the things about being at Caltech, and doing research in the lab, is it really exposed me to the thrill and pleasure of discovery, and I still feel that today. I think I felt that that was something I wanted to do more of. I wanted to understand what made us tick better, and I wanted to just discover things myself.

ZIERLER: What was the selection process of grad schools to apply to?

HARRINGTON: That came from talking to people, a broad swathe of people that I was working with or that I knew. Back in those days, there was no Google search that I could use to [laugh] look at things, so probably tracking down some reference materials on various PhD programs, and learning more about them, and getting a sense of where were people doing things that sounded like what I wanted to do. But, again, I had a pretty West Coast focus. I think the farthest east I applied was Boulder, Colorado, which is where I ended up.

ZIERLER: Why CU Boulder? What was happening there that was compelling to you?

HARRINGTON: Well, their program had a really good name: molecular cellular and developmental biology.

ZIERLER: That's right.

HARRINGTON: It kind of hit all the points I was interested in. It had a good reputation. People I knew said that there were some really good scientists there, and that it was a good program. I'm trying to remember the details, but I'm pretty sure I did a visit, and talked to some people there, and I was impressed. I liked how the program was described, and I also liked Boulder, Colorado. It seemed like [laugh] it would be a great place to live for a few years.

ZIERLER: Now, your advisor, did you know who your advisor was going to be? Was that sort of part of the plan from the beginning, or you set that up when you arrived in Boulder?

HARRINGTON: For graduate school?

ZIERLER: Right.

HARRINGTON: No. I think, initially, it was assigned based on the interest that the student had indicated in their application and subsequent interviews. I had someone assigned to me, and what that meant, of course, was that I was working in his laboratory, which I did for a couple of years. But then it wasn't really going super well. Other people in the department that I was talking with or that were part of my PhD committee, I started talking with them, and kind of saw that once I got through all my coursework that I would probably be happier in another lab. I was able to identify another lab, and make that move so that I had a different mentor.

ZIERLER: This was Kathleen Danna? That's where you ended up?

HARRINGTON: It was Kathleen Danna. Although it was Kathleen Danna on paper, because she was a professor there, it was really a pair of women. The other woman was Dona Chikaraishi, who had been a postdoctoral fellow in another faculty member's lab at the department, Noboru Sueoka. Dona was great to work with, and she had a similar interest on neurobiology. She and Kathy Danna worked closely together, so I sort of had the dual [laugh] mentorship. I was kind of doing my PhD work in both labs because Dona went on to get a faculty position in Denver.

ZIERLER: Tell me about developing your thesis research.

HARRINGTON: That largely came through discussions with Kathy Danna and with Dona Chikaraishi that kind of led on from areas that they were focused on in terms of looking at regulation of DNA. Kathy was more focused on DNA structures, and Dona more on gene expression, so it kind of came from talking with both of them, and then developing the question around ribosomal RNA structure and regulation, which then I got to run with, which was fun.

ZIERLER: To go back to the advances in technology discussion, what were they at that point that made this dissertation topic feasible or even exciting?

HARRINGTON: Well, I could do sequencing then, like I said, on a much more limited scale [laugh], but there were the beginning of these technologies to allow us to sequence hundreds of bases at a time. There was a lot of other kinds of technologies to allow us to look at what genes were expressed from different cells or tissues by doing these techniques of blotting the nucleic acids onto essentially sheets of absorbent material that then we would hybridize radioactive probes to. That was a lot of what I did in terms of defining these gene regions of interest, and determining what was happening in different cells in terms of the RNA that was made and expressed from them.

ZIERLER: What were some of the bigger questions in the field at that time that you felt that your dissertation research was responsive to?

HARRINGTON: Basically, the general question of how is the expression of an individual gene, whether it's a ribosomal gene or a protein-encoding gene, how is that regulated? What turns it on? What turns it off? In some sort of environment, be it damage or disease, what's happening if that is the causative gene?

ZIERLER: What were some of the surprises along the way in your research?

HARRINGTON: [laugh] As in many cases, when you start out doing stuff in many cases of research, there's a dogma; maybe not a formal dogma, but things like, "Oh, in this case, this is the area of the gene that's transcribed, or this is how this biological pathway works," whatever it was. In my case, I was looking at these ribosomal genes, and the expectation was that there was a start site for transcription that was somehow regulated so that you'd get more or less transcription, so more ribosomal RNA made, and then the polymerases would just sort of toddle along, and then there'd be a mechanism for termination and dissociation. While I was doing my research, using these blotting techniques that I mentioned to look at what region of the ribosomal DNA gene were expressed in different cells under different conditions, I kept seeing transcription outside of the defined gene region. I kept thinking I was doing something wrong. I'd go back. I'd clean up my techniques. I'd do it a different way. I kept getting the same results. Eventually, I had to believe it. There was transcription outside of what was defined as the ribosomal gene in what had been described as silent spacer regions. What I saw is they weren't silent. There was some sort of RNA being transcribed off of them, and I reported that in my thesis and in my publications. We didn't really understand it at the time, and I felt kind of out on a limb. But it was in the data, so I couldn't deny it. What we've learned since then, over the years, is that lots of the genome is transcribed, and there's lots of these little short molecules that are probably involved in regulation. But, at the time, it was definitely an exercise in careful scientific research, and then believing your results, and going with them.

ZIERLER: What do you see as your primary contributions and conclusions of your thesis?

HARRINGTON: Basically, adding to the structural knowledge around ribosomal genes, and the regulation of their transcription, because the ribosomes are basically the protein manufacturing sites of the cell, so they're an important macromolecule in the cell. I contributed clean and reliable information on how the RNA in those ribosomes gets made and regulated.

ZIERLER: Chris, looking back, having women as co-advisors, was that important? Was that relevant? Did you think about that? Was that helpful to you?

HARRINGTON: I don't think I thought about it at the time but, in retrospect, I think it was key. Having these two scientific women that were advising me on my PhD, and that I was working with, I think was really a great opportunity for me, and it helped reinforce my confidence as a budding scientist. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Looking back generationally, I wonder the extent to which your advisors were really pioneers. How many tenured women faculty were there in the field at that point? Probably not many at all.

HARRINGTON: Many fewer than there are today, yes. I remember, I don't want to say anything in particular, but one of my advisors did feel the pressure quite a bit. It was hard for her. It affected her subsequent career because she was indeed a female faculty member among the very few female faculty.

ZIERLER: Now, are you sharing this with retrospective knowledge, or did you appreciate these difficulties in real time?

HARRINGTON: No, I knew a fair amount of it at the time, and learned more later, several years later.

ZIERLER: Did that influence your own considerations, things to look out for, opportunities to consider?

HARRINGTON: I think, inherently, yes, but not in a very—I didn't say, going into a situation, look around—

ZIERLER: It's more like being wary.

HARRINGTON: Yeah.

ZIERLER: It's more like being wary to having anything that's actionable.

HARRINGTON: Look around. How many women are here? Is there a male mentor? I didn't do that, but it made me somewhat alert to the challenges of working in a predominantly male environment, and in ones in which women, the number of women was still coming up. It was nowhere close to fifty-fifty back then. But I also got to work with a lot of great men, and I didn't feel held back or looked down on. But sometimes it could be challenging, and there certainly have been some events in my life where I feel like I was kind of dismissed or overlooked by a male colleague. But, overall, it was not that frequent. But it's good to be aware. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Did you see yourself on a strictly academic track at that point? In other words, when you were thinking about postdocs, was that leading to a professorship? Were you considering industry? Did you think about medicine and translational stuff? What were your options and interests after you defended?

HARRINGTON: When I was finishing up my degree, I was thinking very much, like, probably that my top choice may not be going in an academic direction, but I wasn't certain. I was definitely interested in industry, as I've always seen it throughout my professional life as a more applied focus of my knowledge and skills. I wanted to be involved in something that was going to make a difference sooner rather than decades from now. I felt that was an important motivator for me.

ZIERLER: Were there companies that were doing translational work circa 1982–83? Was that happening that early on?

HARRINGTON: I don't remember because this is one of the things I said (earlier), one of my complaints when I was a graduate student is that there was no formal or semi-formal process to try and educate the graduate students around the various professional opportunities. Now, I know at OHSU today, we do a much better job of that. I still think it could be better, but they actually do get the graduate students together, and have people who have used their degrees in different ways talk about the various opportunities. But, back then, I was aware of industry, and there was a lot of exciting biotechnology that was happening then that I was aware of, but it wasn't immediately obvious to me how to get involved in it. I think among the other graduate students, we would talk about it, but it wasn't really obvious how to explore these different options. I ended up doing more of a traditional postdoctoral fellowship in Boston. But then while I was there, my PI introduced me to someone who was a scientific advisor for a new company that was starting out in Cambridge, Massachusetts, called Cambridge Neuroscience. [laugh] It combined neuroscience and molecular biology approaches as part of its mission to try and predict molecular structure for drug development. Then I got connected with them, and was able to work with them, and I really enjoyed it. That was my first biotechnology job.

ZIERLER: This is obviously way before Boston is a biotech hub? This was really pioneering work?

HARRINGTON: Yeah, right, there weren't that many of these kinds of companies around. I think I really enjoyed that, and I thought, yeah, I want to do more of this. But then for personal reasons, I ended up leaving the Boston area, and moving to England, and then I was back in more of an academic track again, which was fine too because that was interesting work, and I did that for a number of years, until I had the opportunity to jump back into a biotechnology company when I worked at the DNA microarray developer, Affymetrix, and that was great. Having a concrete technology was just really fun.

ZIERLER: Chris, I'm wondering if you had a specific window onto the workings of the NHS when you were in the UK, and if that influenced your ideas about healthcare at all?

HARRINGTON: I actually learned a lot about how the NHS operated, because that is how I got my health care over that period during my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter. Also, my husband was trained as a physician in England and most of my friends during the period I lived there were physicians in the NHS. I thought that the NHS overall was a much better healthcare system than what we have in the US. Most of my work there was really around—it was molecular neurobiology again, working in a research laboratory. I didn't have the opportunity to have much interaction with people that were more clinically or therapeutically focused, or translationally focused. It was more basic research at that time, during that window.

ZIERLER: Now, did you go to the UK knowing that you'd come back, or was there a possibility that might be a longer-term opportunity?

HARRINGTON: It was a possibility it might be longer. But I moved there to be with my future husband, who's English. There was certainly a potential that we would stay there, but we mutually decided that we wanted to leave. One of the things [laugh] about a PhD is it really gives you the opportunity to travel the world, which is fantastic.

ZIERLER: Speaking of traveling the world, next up, was it Australia?

HARRINGTON: It was Australia, yeah. Now, that particular move was driven by my husband, who wanted to do a medical fellowship there, and so I jumped into a research lab, in that case, doing research on olfactory receptors. That was a great experience. Then we hopped back to California for a few years.

ZIERLER: Was that sort of a deal you got to be closer to where you're from, even things out a little?

HARRINGTON: Exactly.

ZIERLER: Tell me about that opportunity in California. What was the job?

HARRINGTON: Well, actually, on paper, it sounded like the perfect job to me. It was a position with Affymetrix, who had come out with microarray technology just like a year or two previously, and was starting to launch it as broadly as they could sustain, and get people on board. They were looking for someone to be in a role called a scientific liaison. This would be someone that would deeply familiarize themselves with the technology, and then would work with potential customers from academia and the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology to basically bring them to California, where we were in the Bay Area, and train them on the technology, and educate them on using it. It was a position that involved working with technology, working with lots of different people, and providing education and onboarding to the technology itself. Since I knew by then that I really liked to teach, and I liked working with people, it combined that. It's brought science and a real responsibility for getting the science and the technology out there to different people in different organizations. As part of that, I traveled to some of these pharmaceutical companies. At one point, I went to Germany to talk to a pharmaceutical company there. It was really cool. I really liked it.

ZIERLER: Chris, it's a different company, it's a different time, but if you can compare from your previous biotech opportunity in Boston 10 years prior to the Affymetrix job, just generally, did you sense the maturity of biotech over those 10 intervening years?

HARRINGTON: What I actually sensed was that having a product was a lot better position to be in than having an idea that hadn't been realized yet, because the first company I worked with, it was really an idea. Then we were all doing all this different kind of work to try and prove that it would work. Whereas with Affymetrix, the basics of the technology was already there, and its potential was already established, so it was much different kind of company. We weren't trying to discover anything in terms of scientific principles or new ways of defining the biology around therapies or something. It was much more pragmatic. Here's this tool. We're going to continue to develop it to make it bigger and better, and then we're going to get it into the hands of lots of people so they can apply it in their research and developments. The pharmaceutical companies were interested in it as well for development work.

ZIERLER: Chris, then, what was it that brought you up to Portland?

HARRINGTON: My husband finished his postdoctoral work at Stanford, and was ready for a full-time faculty position, and so we started talking about where to go. Back to England, somewhere else? Portland was one of the areas that we looked at. There were good job opportunities for both of us: me for setting up and running a core lab that would be based around the Affymetrix technology, and basically being responsible for bringing it to OHSU, and making it work for lots of people here. We both liked our offers, and we liked Portland. My daughter was, I think, 5 almost 6 at the time, and it seemed like a great place to raise a child. All those factors came together, and we decided to move here.

ZIERLER: Chris, relative to your responsibilities now, did you come to Portland on the basis that you were on a path of administrative and academic leadership? Was that sort of baked into the original offer?

HARRINGTON: I'm not quite sure what you mean by administrative.

ZIERLER: Your current directorships now.

HARRINGTON: I was recruited to lead this particular core laboratory so, yes, there was a leadership management aspect of it. Well, actually, that was the main part of it, and also to be part of the educational platform around the technology at this institution. But then I also saw that one of the people that recruited me had a pretty grand vision at the time about this genomics institute we were going to build, so that sounded pretty cool to me. That didn't happen, so I kind of built it on my own through collaborations with other faculty, to where we have the Integrated Genomics Laboratory today. It's not quite the genomics institute that had originally been presented to me, but it is an integrated operational space around these kinds of technologies, focused on genomics and transcriptomics, and RNA and DNA analysis for the institution.

ZIERLER: Chris, circa 2000, what was the state of play in genomics, both at OHSU and more generally in the field?

HARRINGTON: People were just starting to get their feet wet. That's why I think people at this institution were pretty excited to get someone like me, who had actually had four years of experience with the technology, and knew it in-depth. People were using it a little bit here (at OHSU), and there were different ways of approaching it that people were using across the country, across the world in terms of technologies and techniques that were out there. But it was really in its formative years because, even at that time, we were only looking at maybe hundreds or a couple thousand genes at a time that we could examine. The technology itself was still developing to where we could look at much more genomic space than we even could in 2000. There was definitely opportunity to educate, to implement, and to bring more people on board to using these tools in their research.

ZIERLER: Chris, the Knight Cancer Institute, was Phil Knight sort of present? Was he around? Have you ever interacted?

HARRINGTON: It wasn't the Knight Cancer Institute back then. It was the Oregon Cancer Institute. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Oh, when did Knight endow it?

HARRINGTON: The OHSU Cancer Institute was renamed the Knight Cancer Institute in 2008.

ZIERLER: Was that a game-changer? Did that really expand what could be done?

HARRINGTON: Yeah, it was a lot of money, and it did really drive a lot of expansion and growth. But the Oregon Cancer Institute was an important part of the campus back in 2000 as well. It was one of the major institutes and departments on campus at that time. I don't know if "exponential" is an accurate term for what happened (in subsequent years).

ZIERLER: It felt like it though? [laugh]

HARRINGTON: But it was a lot of money, and the leadership of the Cancer Institute had changed at that point as well, and Brian Druker, who was leading it at that time, really led sort of a transformative—it wasn't a full reorganization, but it was a lot of development, and a major push forward on recruiting new faculty and faculty in different areas with different strengths. There was active recruitment around imaging techniques and technologies then, a lot of growth in data science, and the kinds of scientists and bioinformaticists that can work with those immense amounts of data. It was a big deal. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Chris, moving our conversation closer to the present, just an overall question. As you gained in seniority, and took on more responsibilities, what were some of your strategies to make sure that you always stay close to the science?

HARRINGTON: Probably two very different ways. My focus has really been, since I've been here, and since I was at Affymetrix actually, on technology. I make it a point to stay abreast of technological developments around genomic science. The technologies basically are the underpinning to what you can do in scientific research. I do that by reading about technological developments, but I'm also part of a professional group called the Association for Biomolecular Resource Facilities. Their mission is to support the development and networking of facilities, core facilities, such as ours. They have annual meetings. All the big technology companies come. I go to that meeting. I talk to all the vendors. I look at their equipment. I see what they can do. We talk. Those conversations go on. That's one side of it. That's like the technology side, the technology that allows you to do certain kinds of scientific research. Then the other side of it, I learn from meeting and talking with the core users, so the faculty and postdocs and graduate students that are coming to us for our help, and to use our technologies and expertise. They come to me with what their research question is, and in order to understand it, I have to ask questions. I have to do a little research myself. I work to understand what they're trying to do, and how they're trying to do it, and then try to bring in our expertise to help them solve their research approaches. Then, of course, I kind of just keep a much more high-level view in terms of reading the literature and such in terms of what's going on, where are the big developments, where are the big research pushes, stuff like that.

ZIERLER: Chris, right at the beginning of our talk, I asked about some of your current responsibilities and activities. For the last part of our talk, I'd like to ask a few retrospective questions, centering around Caltech, and then we'll end looking to the future. Going back to your undergraduate experience, what do you see as some of the things that you learned, your approach to the research, emphasis on quantitative issues, learning how to work in a collaboration? What has stayed with you that you really got from Caltech throughout your career?

HARRINGTON: That's easy. I realized this in graduate school, once I was there. Caltech really helped me develop my critical thinking skills; never to look at a problem and the data, and just go, "Oh, OK." It was always, "What's the data? What's the information? What's the justification? Let's talk about it. Let's double-check it. Let's really drill down to understand and to be sure we're correctly interpreting." That was the main thing. Critical thinking was the big thing I took away from my Caltech education, and it's really helped me. I really believe that. Of course, I had some good foundational classes while I was there, and met some amazing people, who obviously influenced me. I think that kind of summarizes what I think are the big things I took away from Caltech academically and professionally. I also have retained a great group of friends from Caltech, so that's been an important part of my life as well.

ZIERLER: Chris, have you been an active alumnus? Have you kept up with Caltech over the years?

HARRINGTON: I don't know what "active" means. [laugh] I read the little alumni magazines or whatever when I receive them. I look at the periodic emails that I receive. I've come back to a couple of reunions. Then, as I said, I've stayed connected with a group of friends (from my time) there, largely based around my dorm, which was Ricketts House, but more people have kind of joined that social group over the years. We get together, all of us, every two or three years. We meet up again, and hang out for a weekend or something. (Also) I can't remember what it was (but) I came down for something that involved women at Caltech, a few years ago. It wasn't focused on like the first group of women. It was more some sort of meeting or gathering around women at Caltech in general. I'd have to look that up. I don't remember what the details were.

ZIERLER: Chris, from that inaugural class of 30-some odd women to what the numbers are today, have you tracked the trendlines over the years at Caltech, how it went from 1970 to where we are now?

HARRINGTON: I've looked at it. I know that it's closer to 50% today, which is great. I can't say I've tracked it. I am aware. I've read about the increased participation or inclusion of women in the undergraduate group, so that's great.

ZIERLER: To the extent that you've thought about it, I wonder if you've ever reflected on how Caltech has improved institutionally by making this decision, by welcoming women on campus as undergraduates.

HARRINGTON: Not directly in that sense, I don't think I have. I was just looking at the most recent magazine. I think this was from the foundation, trying to get me to leave a legacy or something. Anyways [laugh], I was looking at that the other day. It highlighted a number of individual undergraduates as well as graduate and postdoctoral students. There are several very interesting and impressive women that were highlighted, and I just thought, well, this is great. [laugh]

ZIERLER: Finally, Chris, looking to the future for yourself, what's your own frontier? What do you see as a timeline for which you want to remain active, and what are the most important things for you to accomplish in that window?

HARRINGTON: Right now, I've started moving towards my retirement from OHSU, which is going to be a multi-year process. I'm in the process of transitioning my core director responsibilities to other people so that I can spend a year or two focusing on my role with the Knight Cancer Institute, because I feel like there's more work to do there in terms of building the program around shared resources. That's where my professional interest is right now, in terms of building strong and sustainable research core facilities, and so I want to focus on that a bit before I fully retire from here. But, really, what I'm thinking about more and more is how I spend my half-retirement time and my post-retirement time, and that's going to be climate action. I'm really terrified for our planet, and I'm deeply, deeply concerned for my daughter and her generation and the generations to come. I just feel like we all need to do more. I do a little bit right now, but I need to free up time so I can do a lot more.

ZIERLER: That's great.

HARRINGTON: That's where I want to spend my time.

ZIERLER: Chris, this has been a terrific conversation. You've provided a wealth of insight and historical perspective. I want to thank you so much.

HARRINGTON: Well, thank you.

[END]