Does she shout for them too? Does she cross her eyes for emphasis
like she does at home? Whatever she does, she's never subdued. She
may have multiple personalities, but shrinking violet isn't one of
"People think I'm histrionic," she says. "Imagine that."
THE BASSLER LAB is abuzz with the news:
Danielle Swem is pregnant with twins. The lab assistant (who's the
wife of one of the postdocs) told a few people about a half hour
ago, and now, to make sure that no one's left out, Bonnie walks
into the room where Swem is setting up test tubes and shouts,
"Hello! Attention! Danielle and Lee are having twins! Twins!"
Swem accepts the attention calmly; she's probably accustomed to
Bassler's turning the spotlight on her. Not much big personal news
stays secret in this lab. Everyone knows Mike Federle is
interviewing for jobs at Stanford and the University of Chicago,
and that Chris Waters's third child will be born in a few days. In
fact, pictures of Bassler with the newborn wrapped in his hospital
blanket, with the hospital bracelet still on his tiny wrist,
surface on the lab's website soon after the birth.
In those photos, Bassler looks as proud as the baby's parents. She
may have multiple personalities, but one of them dominates: She's a
matriarch. Her students and fellows become her offspring, their
families her extended family. She even adopts the reporters who
drop in, picking them up at the train station, taking them to her
house for dinner, inviting them to play board games. "I've had
thirteen babies in my lab," she says proudly.