In a conversation with Claudia Dreifus from the New York Times, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Carol W. Greider acknowledges her struggle with dyslexia and says it influenced her to pursue the study of science. Greider, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, shared a Nobel Prize this week for her research on telomeres.
Q. Did you always want to be a biologist?
A. My parents were scientists. But I wasn’t the sort of child who did science fairs. One of the things I was thinking about today is that as a kid I had dyslexia. I had a lot of trouble in school and was put into remedial classes. I thought that I was stupid.
Q. That must have hurt.
A. Sure. Yes. It was hard to overcome that. I kept thinking of ways to compensate. I learned to memorize things very well because I just couldn’t spell words. So later when I got to take classes like chemistry and anatomy where I had to memorize things, it turned out I was very good at that.