Cell Mates

Cell Mates

David Bodine enlists Colby researchers in a bid to unlock the genetic mysteries of blood disorders

By Steve Heacock

Tucked away in glass-sheathed Building 49 on the sprawling 300-acre home campus of the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, David Bodine '76 stalks the halls—examining slides, studying results, and exhorting his colleagues as they divine the mysteries of blood cells.

Bodine is rangy and fit; it's apparent that he has kept up his running (he ran track and cross country at Colby). Don't expect a white lab coat. If you see him at work, he will likely be wearing Nike running shoes, baggy gray sweats, and a faded tennis shirt. "As you probably noticed,— said one colleague at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) with a wry smile, "fashion is very important to Dave.—

What is important to Bodine is the diligence and the professional collegiality of his "section——his laboratory. Bodine's team is figuring out why blood cell development doesn't always work properly—and how to fix it when it goes wrong. The team's focus is a group of diverse inherited blood diseases (most are anemias) having to do with faulty or reduced production of red blood cells that develop from stem cells in bone marrow. Red cells contain hemoglobin, the essential protein that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. He is clearly energized by his work and by the science going on around him, and he is eager to mentor young scientists—many of whom are from Colby.
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