Arno Motulsky profile

It seems to be biomedical profile week in the NY Times, so in addition to the profile of Francisco Ayala, Claudia Dreifus presents a profile of Arno Motulsky. Known for his early work on enzyme interactions, he is now credited for essential ideas leading to pharmacogenomics.

Q. YOUR OBSERVATION IN 1957 ABOUT THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE ENZYMES PRODUCED BY GENES AND SOME DRUGS -- DOES IT PLEASE YOU TO SEE HOW IMPORTANT IT HAS BECOME?
A. Yes, because at first the idea was not well accepted. I remember going to an important pharmaceutical executive and I said, "I found a new way to find out about drug reactions." And he kissed me off: "Drug reactions?"
Things also moved slowly for a long time because it was hard to test for this. But now, with the new DNA testing, you can do many things faster and better. And with the modern computerized genomics, you can even test for reactions to many different enzymes, all at the same time.
On the other hand, I think the promise of pharmacogenetics is sometimes overhyped. There are people who think we'll be able to solve almost everything with an individualized prescription. We need more research, which will be expensive.

It's a short interview, but includes some interesting biographical details.