July 2011

An interview with Namandje Bumpus

ASBMB: Do you have any heroes, heroines, or role models? If so, describe how they have influenced you.  
Bumpus: I have had a number of role models in my professional career who have influenced me in a variety of ways. Richard R. Neubig provided me with my first biomedical science research experience and strongly encouraged me to pursue graduate school. Having a positive experience in his lab is a large part of the reason that I am a scientist. When I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, William B. Pratt was a member of my thesis committee and a strong mentor who always pushed me to think deeply about everything that I was doing in the lab. He impressed upon me the importance of striving to be excellent in my area of research. Pratt also encouraged me to be a well-rounded thinker by frequently passing along literary works to me that he had just finished reading. My thesis advisor Paul F. Hollenberg has been a very important role model for me since my research interests began in his lab, and he taught me how to ask scientific questions and to design the appropriate experiments to answer them. In addition, he is an overall great mentor, and I model my style of interacting with students in my lab after him. My postdoc advisor Eric F. Johnson taught me to be diligent and to be critical, which have been really important for me as I work to establish my research program.

ASBMB: What is it that keeps you working hard and studying science every day?  
Bumpus: I find the possibility of discovery and learning something new with every experiment intriguing.

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