An obit I first saw in the NY Times brings back some memories …
My first rotation (and thus the very first experiments I did as a graduate student) at Brandeis, way back in the fall of 1976, was in Laurie Levine’s lab. My project involved using radioimmunoassays to measure prostaglandin metabolites. It was a pretty good introduction to the research life – lots of samples, standard curves, data analysis, and bajillions of plastic pipette tips. (Back then, they were expensive, and the lab washed and reused them. Tips were washed every day, IIRC.)
What I remember most about the rotation was that Dr. Levine asked me to do something that, at the time, seemed farfetched. Basically, I was supposed to use a particular antibody to see if I could detect a reaction intermediate in an enzymatic reaction (I forget exactly which one, and I’m not inclined to dig into my old notebooks to refresh my memory – sorry.) It seemed a bit of stretch at the time, and it does today. But the challenge was very appealing, and it taught me to keep on trying to do the impossible at the bench. I also appreciated that Dr. Levine had the confidence (or maybe it was a bit of a sadistic streak – who knows) to let a rotation student give it a shot.
That was a nice obituary in the New York Times. You might also read her autobiography on the Nobel web site.