bio

I received my B.A. in Biology (with Honors) and Russian from Haverford College in 1981.

After spending a year as a lab tech in Dr. Vivianne Nachmias's lab at the University of Pennsylvania, I went on to Yale University where I worked in the laboratory of the late Robert M. Macnab, studying the molecules involved in motility of Escherichia coli and the closely-related Salmonella typhimurium. I received my Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry in the spring of 1989. (Officially; I submitted my dissertation, "Structure and Assembly of the Flagellar Hook-Basal Body Complex of Salmonella typhimurium" in the fall of 1988 and was on a plane for Japan the next day.)

I spent 3 years in Japan as an "invited foreign researcher," which certainly sounds better than "post-doc." I was a member of Shin-Ichi Aizawa's group, extending my graduate work on the structure and function of the flagellar (motility) apparatus of Salmonella typhimurium as part of the Hotani Molecular Dynamic Assembly Project. This project was one of many in the ERATO program.

Upon returning to the U.S. in the fall of 1991, I changed my research focus (though bacteria will always swim near to my heart) to learning and memory in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, in the laboratory of Tim Tully at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. I spent over 5 years at Cold Spring Harbor, and learned an awful lot, first as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow for 3 years, then as a Henry Wendt Neuroscience Fellow, departing in the spring of 1997.

In the summer of 1997, I moved to the lab of Robert F. Clark at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. I was a post-doc there for 2 years, beginning a molecular and genetic analysis of the Drosophila presenilin gene. Defects in the presenilin genes in humans have been linked to Alzheimer's disease; thus my (continuing) interest.

In August of 1999 I came to Moravian College as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Since then I've been assiduously honing my skills as a teacher while attempting to maintain an active research lab — no mean trick, I've learned. Still, despite many travails I was awarded tenure in the spring of 2005 and promoted to Associate Professor in the spring of 2007.

I don't know about "happily ever after," but "so far, so good."