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?
What is your favorite place in Madison?
The trail from Raymer’s Cove to Picnic Point
“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
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
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
Most recently: Parasite
Black and simple, preferably French press but I learned in the UK that Nescafe works just fine
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.