Evolution of a Full Professor



	Abstract:

	Success in academia is hypothesized to require specific phenotypes.  In order 
	to understand how such unusual traits arise, we use human clones to identify 
	the molecular events that occur during the transition from a gradute student 
	to a professor.  A pool of graduate student clones was subjected to several 
	rounds of random mutagenesis followed by selection on minimal money media in 
	the absence of dental insurance.  Students surviving this semlection were 
	further screened for the ability to work long hours with vending machine snacks 
	as a sole carbon source;  clones satisfying these requirements were dubbed 
	"post-docs".  In order to identify assistant professors from amongst post-docs, 
	this pool was further  mutagenized, and screened for the ability to turn 
	esoteric results into a 50 minute seminar.  Finally, these assistant professors 
	were evaluated for their potential to become full professors in two ways:  
	first, they were screened for overproduction and surface display of stress 
	proteins such as Hsp70.  Assistant professors that displayed such proteins 
	(so-called "stressed-out mutants") were then fused to the M13 coat protein, 
	displayed on phages and passed over a friend and family members column, to 
	identify those that were incapable to functional interactions.  These were 
	called full professors.  Although these mutants arose independently, they 
	shared striking phenotypes.  These included the propensity to talk incessantly 
	about their own research, the inability to judge the time required to complete 
	bench work, and the belief that all their ideas constituted good thesis 
	projects.  The linkage of all these traits suggests taht these phenotypes are 
	coordinately regulated.  Preliminary experiments have identified a putative 
	global regulator.  Studies are currently being conducted to determine if 
	overexpression of this gene product in post-docs and grad students can speed up 
	the grad student-full professor evolutionary process.





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