I am a question asker, problem solver, dog lover, learner, traveler, weight lifter, and adventurer. My wife and I have lived in Denver for 14 years, where I work at the University of Colorado Denver as a Professor. I’m from a small town in Oklahoma. I was a student at North Carolina State University and worked at the National Institutes of Environmental Health for my PhD. I’ve had many adventures since then, including working in small and large pharmaceutical companies and at three universities.
What inspired you to explore STEM when you were young?
I spent much of my childhood outdoors, exploring neighborhood parks, creeks, and mysterious mud holes and making friends with the local critters, especially my favorites, the lightening bugs, tad poles, horny toads, tarantulas, and cicadas. I had so many questions that my mom bought me a set of encyclopedias so I could answer my own questions.
What do you enjoy most about what you do in your STEM career?
As a professor, I get to work with a diversity of people and get to learn new things every day. I especially like using data and statistics to solve problems. For example, how can police better identify criminals? Why does one person develop a disease while others don’t? Why does food taste different for different people?
What is an interesting fact you would like to share with students about your STEM field?
How long do you think the DNA sequence from one of your cells, if unraveled, would measure? 3 meters! If you were to take all the DNA sequence from all of your cells end to end, the length would make nearly 70 trips from the earth to the sun and back. That’s a lot of information you’re carrying around!