The DNALC's multi-disciplinary staff has experience in elementary, secondary, and collegiate instruction; biochemistry and molecular biological research; computer programming; design, photography, fine arts, and interior design; science journalism; public relations and development; and opinion research.

  • Administration
  • BioMedia
  • Education & Instruction

Susan Lauter

Creative Director

I began working for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in 1985, after my junior year at Cooper Union, when my studies of Watson and Crick in tenth grade biology were faded memories. I was the photography intern for the Public Affairs office, which was then housed in tight quarters in the CSHL library. It was my job to photographically document the Lab's beautiful grounds and many meetings and courses. My duties soon grew to include designing publications and brochures, and I stayed on during my senior year in college while I completed requirements for a bachelor's degree in fine arts.

Although in college I had envisioned myself becoming a starving artist selling my paintings on the sidewalk, my position as Designer in Public Affairs became permanent in 1986. After three years of designing the CSHL newsletter, brochures, course posters, and photographing the bulk of the documentary images featured in the Lab's Annual Report, I moved to the Dolan DNA Learning Center (DNALC) as Exhibit Designer in 1989. It was here that I began using an Apple IIci computer to create interactive tutorials on basic genetic concepts. We discovered that animation is the perfect medium to elucidate the microscopic events in a test tube. I also used the computer to design illustrations for the texts DNA Science and Laboratory DNA Science. I designed two smaller exhibits before we opened Story of a Gene (1995), World of Barbara McClintock (1996), and The Genes We Share (2002). We now have several Internet sites that feature extensive use of multimedia design and animation.

My position is ever evolving; I have been fortunate to grow alongside the educational programs of the CSHL and DNALC. I now split my time here with three children, and there is rarely time to put the right amount of effort into either. And, Dave, my kids can see okay; it's listening they haven't mastered yet.

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