Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oral history interview with Marvin Rittenberg, Ph.D.

This afternoon we completed an oral history interview with Marvin Rittenberg, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Rittenberg was interviewed by Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D. Dr. Stenzel-Poore, a senior leader in research at OHSU, was mentored by Dr. Rittenberg during her graduate study.

With great candor and humor, Dr. Rittenberg discussed his early explorations in various fields of research (an early interest in studying pollution in Los Angeles Harbor was cut short by seasickness); how he defined his expertise in molecular immunology; the development of the department and his relationships with faculty; his mentorship of promising students; and challenges and achievements in research funding. He had a valuable conversation with Dr. Stenzel-Poore about changes in academic culture, particularly the emerging need for scientists to be trained in writing and team-based research.

Dr. Rittenberg was refreshingly forthcoming about regrets and challenges. Remarkably, he noted that if he did it all over again, he would choose a different field of research. He acknowledged that he didn't handle work-life balance as well as he wished, especially early in his career. 

The interview will result in a DVD and transcript. Transcripts and recordings of interviews from the OHSU Oral History Program are added to the archives, and are also available for checkout from the Main Library.

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