Then I moved North, very far North… to Toronto, Canada. There I got my PhD degree from the Department of Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto. For my doctoral dissertation, I worked with cells in culture, investigating molecular pathways used by cancer cells to survive during metastasis. I also began my postdoctoral training in Toronto, using sea urchin larvae to try and understand how genes make immune systems.
But after seven proud Canadian winters, my wife and I decided that it was time to give Southern California a try. We moved to San Diego, where I continued my postdoctoral training, first at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and then The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where I investigated the genetic mechanisms underlying alternative cell fate decisions in fruit flies. It was in San Diego that I first started working with flies, that I first appreciated how breathtakingly beautiful the desert can be, that I saw my boys smile for the first time in their lives and that I came to peace with the realization the I will never learn to surf.
In late 2012, the lab where I was doing my postdoc moved to University of California, Los Angeles, which brought me a little closer to my new home, the Department of Biology at CSUN.
My passion for Biology
My earliest memories of my passion for biology stretch back 35 years, to my elementary school library, where I would devour every children’s nature guide or science book that I could get my hands on. Pretty nerdy, I know.
Fast-forward many decades, and even though I’ve learned a thing or two about biology, I still find myself in awe with living systems. Probably more now than before, and because of the thing or two that I learned about biology.
It’s that overwhelming feeling of amazement that kept me going throughout the years, enjoying the exhilarating ups and resisting the (many) downs of experimental research. That is why I’m so excited to be at CSUN, where not only will I have an opportunity to continue marveling at life through our own research, but I will also have an opportunity to share that sense of wonder with many, many students.