Title, From Genes to Clones: Introduction to Gene Technology. Author, Ernst L. Winnacker. Publisher, VCH, ISBN, , This textbook on gene technology offers for the first time a unified approach to the subject and summarizes the concepts and strategies behind the art of gene cloning. It is the only book available Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker. Wiley, Jun 7, Buy From Genes to Clones: Introduction to Gene Technology on ✓ FREE by Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker (Author), E.-L. Winnacker (Author).

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The year old Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker has had many jobs throughout his career, both in academia as well as policy-making. The promotion of young scientists has always been a key objective for Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker.

The German studied chemistry at the ETH Zurich and later turned into a molecular biologist with an interest in DNA recombination, gene expression and host-virus interactions during his postdoctorates at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Karolinska Institute at Stockholm. Between and he established and headed the Munich Gene Center, one of the first German institutions to foster early scientific independence. During his presidency at the DFG, the German Excellence Initiative with the goal to promote top-level research and to create favourable conditions for young scholars at universities was launched.

Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker received numerous honours and awards for his achievements. Lab Times talked to him about his career and latest developments in the research landscape. Do you enjoy your retirement or do you plan new activities? This should be lots of fun. I have also found a piano teacher and have just had my first lessons after 53 years or so. I do not cherish any illusions about getting back the dexterity, which I had more than 50 years ago but, at least, it permits me to make good use of my Baby-Steinway.

What is, in your opinion, special about HFSP and what contributes to its high reputation? The office imposes little, if any, bureaucracy and thus can be extremely respectful to the scientific community. My major challenge was to secure the necessary funding in times of the financial crisis. It has to be kept in mind that HFSP is not an international organisation in a formal sense but just an informal union of interested parties. Its legal status is that of a Strasbourg tennis or bowling club.

This means that none of the 15 members is in any way obliged to provide the necessary funding. Somehow, however, it was possible for HFSP to prevail, even in the worst of times, since its reputation is too high to fail. Even though, implementation of the necessary power of persuasion required considerable skills, efforts and attention. What are the critical next steps for the further advancement of the HFSP funding programmes?

But at the time of my departure towards the end of Junethere were three major challenges: Hopefully, the next Intergovernmental Conference in will manage to increase funding significantly, in order to increase grant size. Their scientific communities profit considerably from HFSP although they are not members.

This raises the question of how long the current members will accept the ongoing open policies, according to which any scientists in the world can apply to HFSP. Finally, a public-private partnership has never been organised by HFSP but could be extremely helpful in the current financial squeeze. What about the feedback on your book?

Well, the book only appeared in German, although I have distributed an English version to various friends and colleagues. The difficulties in setting it up were enormous and writing about them would have only confirmed all the prejudices, which people have against the European Commission.


At least, this is what I thought and continue to think. It must also be said that notwithstanding all the original animosity there are people in the Commission, including the current Director-General, without whose unflinching support the ERC would never have floated. The establishment of the ERC might be seen as a difficult birth. What did make it so difficult? What was your motivation in the process? Powerful sources within the European Commission simply did not like it.

I must admit that I did not expect or foresee the problems.

But thanks to the support of the Scientific Council, which at that time was extremely competent, experienced and cooperative, as well as the scientific community as such, many of the problems could be overcome. We were all motivated by the urgent need to establish such a funding instrument based only on scientific excellence. To fail was no alternative, although lots of people had predicted it to be a flop. In the meantime, the European Research Council and its funding lines have turned into a major success story of the European Framework Programmes.

Did you expect this development? What were your dreams and nightmares in the early beginnings? My dream was to establish a European-wide funding agency, clone would support scientific excellence independent of nationality and borders. The European Research Area, as it was defined in earlywas an extremely farsighted vision completely in line with the creation of a common currency or the absence of borders Schengen.

Today, the situation appears quite different. There appears to be more money in Europe now for fences than for migrants. We shall see how this development affects other boundaryless wonnacker like the ERC.

From genes to clones

Do you follow the latest developments at the ERC? Do you always keep a close eye on your past appointments and the built-up networks or do you yo to focus on your next challenge? I rather prefer to look onto future challenges. Thus I do not know details of the current challenges of the ERC. Nevertheless, I feel confident about its future.

The current leadership does an excellent job in difficult times again; this time the refugee crisis, which is costly, complex and difficult.

The biggest challenge for the ERC is the continuing winnackfr of scientists from the accession countries. No doubt, intelligence and talent are distributed evenly around our continent. But there is such a lack of infrastructure in the accession countries that many junior and senior scientists from these countries prefer to work in the old EU I would probably act similarly if I was 35 years old.

How to solve this problem? One way could be to redirect EU-structural funds into building scientific infrastructure, beginning with schools, colleges, universities and thereby preparing them for the kind of internationality winnacler interdisciplinarity, which modern science requires.

The goal must not only be to attract citizens from these countries to return to their country of origin, but also to make the institutions in these member states attractive to foreigners. The European Research Area should not consist of one-way streets only.

Did it fulfill its expectations?

From Genes to Clones: Introduction to Gene Technology – Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker – Google Books

I think, it clpnes. It shook up the entire academic system and permitted scientific excellence to flourish as never before. I am surprised that it takes so long to decide about its continuation. What is your past and current opinion on the aspiration and reality of the three funding lines Graduate Schools, Clusters of Excellence and Institutional Strategies?

While I feel that Graduate Schools and Clusters of Excellence deserve to be continued, most institutional strategies have been tried in the past rounds of applications. Thus, I support the idea, to give those with best Clusters and Graduate Schools a bonus of more overhead. The German Excellence Initiative will be continued beyond The exact format and funding winacker are still under discussion.


Do you have an insight into similar programmes in other countries? What ho could be learned for Germany? I think that most everybody else has learned from Germany, for a change. Most people I talk to are surprised that it takes so long to decide about the continuation of something, which is admired and has been so successful. The promotion and early independence of young scientists has always been a focus in your career.

If you look back — what have been the major changes and achievements over the last 20 years? In the meantime, many organisations have developed funding schemes for junior investigators, including the ERC. It is widely recognised that the strength of any research system is dependent on early independence of qualified researchers. What opportunities do you see for continued improvement? What are, in your opinion, problems that need to be tackled? The main remaining problems are mentoring and proper career perspectives.

Mentoring means that junior scientists are not left alone but supported by the senior staff in their host institute. They do not need to be told what kind of science they should do, but they need advice on many other aspects, like where to publish, which meetings vrom go to, how to run a group of young researchers, how to select graduate students and postdocs.

This is often missing.

The other big problem is career perspectives. The concept of tenure track does exist here and there in the German academic frrom, but it is rare and seen as an exception rather than a rule, i. Even if there are tenure track possibilities, the term for a junior research group leader should not be too short.

Five plus two wwinnacker two years seems to be a reasonable compromise but five years plus one, like in the Emmy-Noether concept of the DFG, is simply too short. We simply have too few professorial positions in this country because they are connected to too many lower-ranked academic positions, laboratory assistants and to infrastructure.

Here, we could learn from academic systems in the English-speaking world.

From Genes to Clones by E.L. Winnacker and Ernest Winnacker (1987, Paperback)

I continue to be concerned about the gender issue. Women are still neglected in our research system, at least on any of the advanced levels. It is hard to understand why it takes so long for people to realise that the intellect of women adds enormously to scientific quality. Looking back to your wonnacker — how did you make the transition from a scientist into science policy making?

I am a fan of the university as an institution of learning and of practising research. This quality was lost in the s. At least it became apparent to me at this winnwcker that we need improved academic structures and career perspectives. Structures at the time did not honour interdisciplinarity, internationality and early scientific independence. With the foundation of the Gene Center I tried to change go this. Whether these efforts can be sustained is another question.