Drosophila faculty

Paul Boyer boyer at cs.uwp.edu
Sat Jun 17 12:02:48 EST 1995

William J. Etges (wetges at COMP.UARK.EDU) wrote:
: At 12:07 PM 16/6/95 -0700, Alan C. Christensen, Ph.D. wrote:
: >In discussions of faculty hiring priorities, no doubt many of you have
: >heard comments such as "We already have enough Drosophila labs here".
: >Naturally, we all realize that Drosophila is not a field but an organism,
: >and that Drosophilists come in an impressive array of fields, but our less
: >enlightened colleagues don't often realize that (for example) a person
: >working on transcription factors in Drosophila and a person doing
: >population genetics with Drosophila are not actually working on the same
: >thing, and that a developmental geneticist working on Drosophila would
: >actually broaden and strengthen a Department rather than being redundant.
: >
: >So my question is simple:  What arguments have been successfully used to
: >persuade a diverse group of biologists (including ecologists,
: >parasitologists, plant biochemists, etc.etc.) that another Drosophila
: >faculty hire is actually a good idea?
: >
: >I would also like to collect information on various Departments around the
: >U.S. and list how many of the faculty work on Drosophila, in order to
: >demonstrate that a group of 3 or more P.I.s is actually healthy.
: >
: >Please e-mail responses to me.  If anyone is also interested in knowing
: >what the responses are I can share them or post a compilation.

: Alan,
:                 Perhaps I can help by describing what its like to be the
: ONLY Drosophila person on a faculty. Imagine running your lab without a
: core of students and faculty working on flies: I must find the manpower and
: resources to wash glassware, make food, change stocks etc. This means if I
: can find a good work-study student, the department will pay for him/her,
: and things are OK. Otherwise, my graduate and undergraduate students must
: pitch in. So far, the department has not allocated the funds to pay for a
: part-time lab tech just for me.  It is mysterious to me how anyone could
: argue for or against someone based on the organism they work on - surely
: the decision must be made on the person's qualifications, the department's
: perceived teaching needs, etc.  Seems to me that there is certainly a large
: advantage in having a group of people working on flies in the same
: department, even if they are asking different questions.

:                 By the way, I work primarily on ecological genetics and
: evolution of cactophilic Drosophila, primarily D. mojavensis.

: Bill

: -------------------------------------------------------------------------
: William J. Etges
: Department of Biological Sciences
: SCEN 629
: University of Arkansas
: Fayetteville, AR 72701  USA
: wetges at comp.uark.edu
: voice: (501) 575-6358
: FAX   (501) 575-4010

:  I changed her oil, she changed my life.
: ................title of a country and western song.

: -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ditto, from my point of view.  I'm just setting up my lab space, and 
getting together the space, equipment, facilities and people power 
specific to Drosophila research is a challenge, to say the least.  I 
think a department should consider the value of a critical mass that 
would allow for core facilities (food prep, dish washing, etc) to be 
established.  These things could only lead to more productive research.

I'm working on the molecular genetics of early D. melanogaster 

Paul D. Boyer, Ph.D.                      University of Wisconsin--Parkside
Assistant Professor                       900 Wood Road, Box 2000
Department of Biological Sciences         Kenosha, WI  53141-2000

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