The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Frank Moore Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

April 11, 2017


“Studying Salamanders to Better Understand Ourselves”  April 11, 2017  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Moore discusses his upbringing in rural Ohio, noting in particular his early interest in nature. He then reflects on his undergraduate years at the College of Wooster, where he majored in Psychology and met the woman who would become his wife, Kathleen Dean. In recalling their meeting, Moore comments on Kathleen's family background and the shared interests that cemented their bond.

Next, Moore discusses the handful of years that he spent as a public school teacher, noting that he did so in order to prepare himself for a future career as a university professor. From there, he traces his path through graduate studies at the University of Colorado, focusing in particular on his shift to endocrinology, his intellectual influences as a budding young scientist, his research on the control of spermatogenesis in salamanders, and his wife's progression as a doctoral student.

The session then turns its attention to Moore's career at Oregon State University. In this, he describes the path that he and his wife took to securing employment at OSU, and shares his memories of the university and the community in the mid-1970s. He then details his discovery of the hormone vasotocin in salamanders and comments on the major importance of this finding. He likewise provides background and context on other research that he conducted relating to neurological systems in salamanders and his attempts to use this work to better understand human systems. Of particular note is Moore's discussion of a heavily cited paper, "A Corticosteroid Receptor in Neuronal Membranes." Moore likewise comments on the frustrations that he encountered in trying to clone hormone receptors, and reflects on the years that he spent as an administrator near the conclusion of his career.

The interview winds up with Moore's sense of the major impact made by OSU's Zoology/Integrative Biology program over the years; his perspective on his academic partnership with Kathleen Dean Moore; and his opinions on current attacks on science and denial of climate change. Moore concludes with thoughts on change in the College of Science and on OSU's positioning as it looks toward its 150th anniversary.