Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
 Preparation
 Courage
   + [ Perseverance ]
 Integrity
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

Keith Black: There is, I think, an innate drive in humankind to create, to develop something new, to build on what we already know as a body of knowledge. The second is that there is something very spiritual. There is something very special about healing, about helping someone in need that's sick and trying to make them whole, to help their families. That's what's special about being a physician. And what's special about being a physician scientist is that you take that to one additional level, and that we know now that there are some diseases that we cannot cure, so we're limited. We know that we can only go so far with current technology to help our patients and help our families. So when we run up against our limitation, the drive in the researcher in me is to say, "We can do better. The next patient that I see is not going to die from this cancer. We're going to have them live a longer and better life." And that's the drive, to find the technologies to cure the diseases that are killing my patients.
View Interview with Keith Black
View Biography of Keith Black
View Profile of Keith Black
View Photo Gallery of Keith Black



Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

I think one of the hopes that we all have is that the world will recognize us for what our talents are, and you work hard and you do a good job and that's it. Unfortunately, as we all know, there's politics. There are people with different political agendas that are not necessarily motivated by the same moral sort of drives that you might have. I mean, people do things not necessarily for the best interest of patients, or for humanity. They may do it for the best interest of themselves, so we have to deal with those political obstacles, which can divert a lot of time and energy. That can be annoying sometimes, because as you say, it's hard enough trying to find a cure for cancer, and have to step back and say, "Wait a minute. What is this political agenda here?" And have to be wise enough to circumnavigate those to achieve your objective.
View Interview with Keith Black
View Biography of Keith Black
View Profile of Keith Black
View Photo Gallery of Keith Black



Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

When you run up against an obstacle, to do what I call the principle of tai chi. You know, karate takes a force and it opposes with a force, but in most obstacles that you run up against, you're outgunned and you're outnumbered, so you're not going to overcome it with force. One of the smartest things that you can do is to take that force and turn it back against itself, which is what tai chi does. And to enjoy what you do, because if you're not having fun at it you're going to get tired real quick. But if you do what you enjoy, and if you're disciplined, if you find mentors, if you use your head when you come up against an obstacle, and find a way to overcome that obstacle and to keep moving forward -- or to move around and move forward -- you'll get to where you want to go.
View Interview with Keith Black
View Biography of Keith Black
View Profile of Keith Black
View Photo Gallery of Keith Black



Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

We went across the street to the apartment of somebody who had a TV -- not everybody had a TV -- so we could watch this (the moon landing). We had this great -- we watched this, you know, amazing thing. We all came back, and then I was doing my little biochemical analyses and nothing had fallen into place, and I lost a whole lot of the sample, and I thought, "This is not a good day for my science." But then very soon after -- the same samples -- I had analyzed them, and I suddenly thought about them in a different way, and suddenly everything fell into place. And ah, yes! Now I understood what was going on. So I remember that very well, because there was a sort of juxtaposition of the moon's triumph, my technical failure, and then, very quickly after, somehow things just kind of fell into place. You know, it was a very trivial problem now, but at the time, that process of going through it was something that I suddenly realized, the addiction to science. That "Ah!" You've suddenly seen a way through. You've seen how something is. You've understood how something works.
View Interview with Elizabeth Blackburn
View Biography of Elizabeth Blackburn
View Profile of Elizabeth Blackburn
View Photo Gallery of Elizabeth Blackburn



Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

The other side of what we do is we are very interested in how this does relate to cancer cells. So while we do experiments in simpler organisms, where we can get fast answers and they are complicated enough as they are, we also are trying to apply certain of these questions directly into human cancer cells and say, "What can we learn there, because there may be directions that could be, eventually, down the line perhaps, therapeutically useful. It would be wonderful to see. So maybe all this medical background is starting to sort of sneak out again, and everybody probably dreams that their research might do some concrete good, but you also know it's a long road, because drugs and therapeutics don't just fall into your lap. They're tough. Humans are complex, and things that work in cells, things that work in molecules really well, it's very complicated how it plays out in the whole human body. So you know, we can have great hopes, but we also know that things may never work out in quite the same way that we planned. But I have a hunch that they'll work out in some way. I'm just not exactly sure how it would play out
View Interview with Elizabeth Blackburn
View Biography of Elizabeth Blackburn
View Profile of Elizabeth Blackburn
View Photo Gallery of Elizabeth Blackburn



Norman Borlaug

Ending World Hunger

Norman Borlaug: Well, Dr. Stakman -- the kind of person he was -- he was old school. He may have been a plant pathologist, but he was a biologist in the broadest sense, and he wove into his lectures the story of going back to the first -- to the Bible -- to the rust epidemics. And so when I was asked to delay my arrival to the Idaho National to the first of June rather than the first of January, I said, "What am I going to do here?" And so I talked to Margaret also, and she said, "You were so impressed by Dr. Stakman, why don't you go and see him and see if you can register for graduate training for these six months?" And so I went to see him, told him my background, and he asked a lot of questions. I told him, "Well, this is kind of just to fill up six months." He said, "That's a pretty poor reason to go to graduate school." But he kept asking questions. And finally he said, "Okay, I'll accept you." And so, that's when everything started to change. At the end of that period, he got me an assistantship which paid a small amount so that the University job and the coffee shop had long since disappeared. But there were these other programs that Eleanor Roosevelt and the CCC (came up with) and so I worked on many of these things and was able to put together enough to live on.
View Interview with Norman Borlaug
View Biography of Norman Borlaug
View Profile of Norman Borlaug
View Photo Gallery of Norman Borlaug



Browse Perseverance quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page