These emails are part of an exchange between Assadi, a mathematician interested in imaging algorithms, and Sokoloff, concerning
the possibility of Assadi doing some work with Sokoloff or other bio-imaging pioneer. Here, Assadi responded to some of points
in Sokoloff's letter of early March.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (153,480 Bytes)
2000-03-09 (March 9, 2000)
Assadi, Amir H.
University of Wisconsin
National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)
Reproduced with permission of Amir H. Assadi.
Positron Emission Tomography Scanning and Beyond, 1979-2004
EMail from Louis Sokoloff to Amir H. Assadi [ca. March 2000]
EMail from Louis Sokoloff to Amir H. Assadi (November 8, 1999)
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 5
It is wonderful to hear from you, and your strategy, for getting work done is one that use occasionally myself, so no problem
I also would like to thank you for the comments and the wonderfully open remarks. I think working with biologists have had
some interesting effect on me, so that in my previous e-mail, instead of having a fairly general and abstract discussion of
what my scientific plans for the future would be, I jumped on a concrete idea. I think I should have approached from my good
old general abstract way! Then, I would have started with my general passion, that is learning about the brain, and I would
have left the "how" to a dynamic evolution of ideas and circumstances.
I am quite sure what I have learned in the brief discussion that we had, and what I learn in general from discussions with
you, will be more valuable and intellectually more stimulating than many other scientific experiences. Therefore, I would
just put aside the question of grant writing, so it would not come in the way of my real goal, understanding more about the
brain and trying to answer some modest questions. . .
My hope is that you and Kathy will still come to visit me in Madison, and continue to offer your valuable time from occasion
to occasion, as you did generously last time.
The problem of getting financial support, much to my regret, is at this point a practical problem that I have to solve because
my sanity and scientific pride has been badly hurt by some opportunists in my Department. From a position of constantly being
abused, both from my time and energy to other resources that should be available for my research and progress and it is always
blocked. I have come to conclusion that my civilized "wait and see until it gets better" has been interpreted as my
weaknesses. But this should not come in the way of my learning some true scientific insights, and have a mentor like you,
even for brief periods of visits and such. I am positive that my practical problems will be solved, and I just have to be
a bit better informed of the options.
This long introduction is only to support my statement, that my approach to brain research via imaging, is only because I
found it easier, and can do some things that because of mathematics and computation, many others cannot as easily, something
that should help me stay away from competition and stresses of that type. On the other hand, I have done also some data analysis
for multi-electrode recording, and felt quite good about the results. My hope is to learn some cellular and molecular neurobiology,
as the opportunity hopefully would arise, to get to the real nuts and bolts.
Regarding Toga, I agree with you he is a superb researcher, and have had the good fortune of hearing his talk twice and chatting
with him. The difficulty is that the National Research Council (NRC) is the program, like the one Cohen had in your lab, only
for certain Federal Government Labs. This excludes many excellent places like Toga's lab. Also, NRC has a fairly strong
requirement about residence in the lab, etc, and I feel if I look into an alternative lab via NRC, it also to be one that
I could at least get away from time to time to talk to you and hopefully John Hopfield, who is another scientific hero of
mine. I may try to write a KO1 "mentored research scientist" grant to work with Hopfield, while learn "free style"
other things on my own, like metabolism and biochemistry of the brain, from you possibly in occasions that would not overly
impose on your time and other valuable resources.
What I learned in my university studies was that I must prefer company of great thinker over the ordinary technicians, and
the subject off interest of excellent researchers has a lot to learn from versus a glamorous topic that I would by select
by myself. In my entire studies, that have been continuing, travels, visits to other institutions etc, I have applied this
moto whenever I could, and with the marvelous consequence that those rare occasions have been the emorable [sic] parts of
my life, that has remained with me, all others could be always substituted with something of equal or more value!!
How about your visit in May? I hope you will keep that promise! In the mean time, I will try to come to Washington, but have
to deal it after my courses and exams are over, because it is really tough to get away except for emergencies. The poor kids
in my classes , and the young and enthusiastic novice researchers in my group should get a decent education from me regardless
in my group should get a decent education from me regardless of unkind overload of work assigned to me by the math department.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon, regarding visit by you and Kathy. With warmest regards,