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Biochemistry Faculty Profile - Professor Brian Fox
  • Please tell us a little about yourself. 
    Where did you grow up?  Where did you go to school? 

I was born in Denver, CO, 1956 and grew up in Boulder, CO. My entire educational track is as follows: Columbine Elementary School (1967); Centenial Junior High School (1971); Boulder High School (1974); University of Colorado (1 year); Carleton College (BA, Chemistry, 1981); University of Minnesota (PhD, Biochemistry, 1989); Carnegie Mellon University (postdoctoral fellow); University of Wisconsin (Assistant Professor, 1993).

  • Where did you carry out your postdoctoral research?

Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • As a child, who was your biggest influence?

Mr. Geiger, high school geology teacher; Mr. Kildahl, high school algebra teacher; and Mr. Ogata, high school chemistry teacher.

  • Why did you decide to study science?

Because I love the natural world.

  • Why did you come to Madison?  When?

Greatest opportunity in the world. Summer, 1993.

  • What do you like most about being a professor?

Following my interests and intuition while working with the very smartest students and colleagues around. There is something new and challenging every day.

  • What is the focus of your research?

Understanding and increasing appreciation of the marvels in the natural world.

  • What do you consider your major accomplishments?

Helping others achieve their goals and success.

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

Follow your interests and intuition, and always remember you can’t do it alone.

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

Tend my daffodils, cook something new, and play some music.

  • What is your favorite place in Madison?

The secret beaches along the shoreline going north and west from Picnic Point.

  • Favorite Quote

Build Back Better

  • Friends Describe Me as

Ready to go

  • Fantasy Dinner Guests

People who know what they are talking about but are still good listeners.

  • Best Advice I Ever Received

“Don't promise what you can’t deliver…”

  • My Undergrad Alma Mater

Carleton College, ‘81

  • My Worst Subject In School

Analytical Chemistry

  • If I Weren't A Professor, I Would

Work with my hands

  • In College I Drove

A bicycle

  • Favorite Books

Ceol Rince na hEireann” (the red one)
“Popular Mechanics Home How-To”
“Salt: A World History”
“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy.

  • Favorite City

Sapporo, Japan or Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Favorite Movies

Recently: “Enola Holmes”
“Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker”
“Guardians of the Galaxy"
Anything Marvel

  • Favorite Coffee

Just Coffee’s “Wake the Dead”

  • Current Research

Learning what we can do about lignin besides burn it or bury it.

  • My Latest Accomplishment

Getting the Biotechnology Training Grant renewed for another 5-year period.

  • Nobody Knows I…

Walked to the Chomolungma base camp and back