Yesterday celebrated a milestone. Dr./Prof. Harry Greenberg, his wife Diane and daughter Sophie hosted a heartwarming and fun get-together at their Palo Alto, CA home, as a goodbye to his research group at Stanford/Palo Alto VA. The Professor, widely distinguished for decades of pioneering work on virology, immunology and vaccines is approaching retirement from an achievement-packed and highly touted career. This has led to the closure of his extremely productive research laboratories after over 40 years in operation. Scores of trainees, postdocs and employees have benefitted from his mentorship and guidance, and themselves have become successful and known professionals in scientific research and medical practice.
From closure evolves a mix of sentiments. The very nature of goodbyes. For some, it is respite from continuous hard work that has led to innovative and ground-breaking results and statistics. For others, it is a pause to re-energize again and pursue a new career or further the same one. For some, it is retirement. At any rate, that closure is really no closure – for working relationships continue on to friendships, or at the very least, prompt the start of convivial connections spiced with occasional meetups. Such were the goodbyes yesterday. They weren’t really goodbyes, but something like – “see you sometime later”.
A young man’s ‘to-go’ from the sumptuous lunch at the goodbye party (Photo by Dr. Takahiro Kawagishi)