Biochemistry faculty profile – Professor Judith Kimble

Judith Kimble
Professor Judith Kimble.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Go to school?

I was born in Providence RI and raised in Durham, NC. Went to undergrad at UC Berkeley, grad at CU Boulder

Where did you carry out your postdoctoral research?

Cambridge University, UK

As a child, who was your biggest influence?

As a kid, my parents. As a teen, Bob Dylan.

Why did you decide to study science?

I found animal development amazing and wanted to understand how it worked.

Why did you come to Madison? When?

1983. Several reasons: I’ve always been a strong supporter of public universities, UW-Madison is exceptional in both depth and breadth, and Madison seemed like a great place to live.

What do you like most about being a professor?

Essentially everything – except perhaps the ever-increasing bureaucracy.

What is the focus of your research?

Molecular regulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation

What do you consider your major accomplishments?

I’ve been lucky to have made a few contributions which are listed in my biosketch.

What advice would you provide to a new assistant professor who is just starting his/her career?

Remember to breathe!

When you are not working, what do you like to do?

Reading, walking

What is your favorite place in Madison?

The trail from Raymer’s Cove to Picnic Point

Favorite Quote

“One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” – Robert Frost

Friends Describe Me

Hmmm, good question.

Fantasy Dinner Guests

At the moment, I most want the people in my lab to be able to come over.

Best Advice I Ever Received

When you go to a job or grant interview, just be yourself.

My Worst Subject In School

Scuba diving

If I Weren’t A Professor, I Would

Good question, depends on when you ask. Today? I might run for Congress.

In College I Drove

VW Squareback

Favorite Books

From my youth: A Mathematician’s Apology and The Prime of Life: The Autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir

More recently: Janesville: An American Story, Evicted, Just Mercy, Hillbilly Elegy, and Grounded: A Senator’s Lessons on Winning Back Rural America

Favorite City


Favorite Movie

Most recently: Parasite

Favorite Coffee

Black and simple, preferably French press but I learned in the UK that Nescafe works just fine

Current Research

RNA regulatory networks and their control of stem cell self-renewal

My Latest Accomplishment

Shoveling the six feet deep bank of snow that the snow plow left.

Nobody Knows I…

Hated London until Marv convinced me that it is heaven on earth

Was a faculty member for two years at the University of Copenhagen Medical School (lowest possible rank), before grad school.