New Search

David W. Golde

  • Born: October 23, 1940, New York, New York
  • Died: August 8, 2004

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0189
Interview Date: December 15, 1999
Location: New York, New York
Interviewer: Audra J. Wolfe
No. of pages: 22

  Abstract of Interview

David Golde begins the interview with a discussion of his early years and education in Bayonne, New Jersey. In high school, Golde developed an interest in medicine, which was stimulated by his biology teacher. He received his B. S. in chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1962. He then attended medical school at McGill University, graduating in 1966. After graduation, Golde completed his internship under the supervision of Dr. Holly (Lloyd) Smith at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Golde joined the faculty at UCSF after completing his residency at the National Institutes of Health. His experience in clinical pathology at NIH steered him into hematologic research at UCSF in Martin J. Cline's laboratory. While at UCSF, Golde met several influential scientists who first sparked his interest in hormones. In 1974, Golde left UCSF for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he continues his affiliation today as Professor of Medicine, Emeritus. Throughout most of the 1970s, Golde's major field of research was in colony-stimulating factors. Golde observed cell lines to determine which tissues make colony-stimulating factors. In his laboratory at UCLA, Golde developed a major cell line called KG-1 with H. Phillip Koeffler. The KG-1 cell line was later used to clone alpha interferon. Golde began studying hairy-cell leukemia, researching the cell origins for the disease. Studying cultures of the Mo cell line (named after John Moore, a hairy-cell leukemia patient), Golde's laboratory was the first to purify human GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor). With Robert Gallo he discovered a specific strain of retrovirus named HTLV-II, and with his postdoc, Irvin Chen, was the first to clone the HTLV-II virus. Golde concludes the interview with a discussion of the relationship between the biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industries, issues regarding federal transfer of information, and thoughts on his contributions to medicine.


1962 B.S., Chemistry, Fairleigh Dickinson University
1966 M.D. McGill University

  Professional Experience

University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco

1972 - 1973 Instructor in Medicine

University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco

1973 - 1974 Assistant Professor in Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

1974 - 1975 Assistant Professor of Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

1975 - 1979 Associate Professor of Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

1979 - 1991 Professor of Medicine

University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

1991 Professor of Medicine Emeritus

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

1991 Member

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

1991 - 1996 Head, Division of Hematologic Oncology

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

1996 Physician-in-Chief, Memorial Hospital

Cornell University

1991 Professor of Medicine, Medical College

Cornell University

1992 Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medical Sciences


1965 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, McGill University
1962 - 1966 University Scholar, McGill University
1966 J. Francis Williams Prize in Medicine, McGill University
1986 Outstanding Faculty Research Lecturer, UCLA
1986 MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health
1991 Enid A. Haupt Professor of Hematologic Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Early Years 1

Born in New York City. Growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey. Working as coffee chemist for Maxwell House. Attending medical school at McGill University. Residency at NIH. Important influences for choosing medical field. Holly (Lloyd) Smith. Internship at UCSF.

Early Career 3

Joining faculty at UCSF. Interest in hematology. John Beck. Working in Martin J. Cline's laboratory. Gordon Tompkins. C. H. Li. Leaving UCSF for UCLA. Importance of role models. Research interests in the 1970s. Setting up first normal bone marrow donation program. Theodore Finley.

Research 7

Growing interest in colony-stimulating factors. Uses of colony-stimulating factors. Obtaining patient materials for research. Establishing cell lines. Ethical issues in medical research. Development of KG-1 cell line. H. Phillip Koeffler. Studying hairy-cell leukemia.

Discovery 11

John Moore. Purifying GM-CSF. Judith C. Gasson. Robert C. Gallo. HTLV-I. Irvin S. Y. Chen. Studying retrovirology. Discovery of HTLV-II. Cloning HTLV-II. Molecular biology as an influence on biomedical research.

Conclusion 15

Biotechnology business and the pharmaceutical industry. Consulting for Genetics Institute. Intellectual property rights. Contributions to medical science. Recent research on Vitamin C.

Notes 18

Index 19

  About the Interviewer

Audra J. Wolfe

Audra J. Wolfe received her Ph.D. in history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. She received an M.A. from that program in 1999 and a B. S. in chemistry and biochemistry from Purdue University in 1997. She was the 2000 summer Othmer Student at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. In addition, she has been the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and was named an Honorary Mellon Graduate Fellow in the Humanistic Studies for 1997–1998. She is currently researching and writing a dissertation on the public role of American biologists in the postwar years.

Hear It Firsthand

The Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields, with over 425 oral histories that deal with various aspects of science, of scientists, and of scientific practices. For more information please visit CHF’s Oral History Program or e-mail oralhistory@

Annual Report

Annual Report
Take a look back at a year of preservation, research, and outreach in CHF’s annual report to supporters.

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible tax-deductible gift online.