Born in central Illinois in fields of corn destined to become feed or alcohol, I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign taking a BS in Chemistry in 1991 before pursuing PhD work at Harvard. After a post-doctoral stint at The Scripps Research Institute from 1996-1998, I joined the faculty of Texas A&M University where I remained for 12 years until moving to TCU in 2010. My laboratory pioneered a new class of tree-shaped molecules that showed promise as both vehicles for fighting prostate cancer and the building blocks for new materials.
With a longterm interest in science education, I founded the TCU IdeaFactory to engage students in entrepreneurism with deliverables including tools for teaching plate tectonics and Broadway styled show on the same content.
Collaborating though interdisciplinary coursework remains an integral part of my efforts with classes including "Dance of the Continents", "Recess." Our new project is "Cerebral Palsy and Dance".
Whiskey represents a recent interest and I enjoys writing about it and teaching it even more than drinking it. Coauthored with F&R's head distiller, Rob Arnold, my book "Shots of Knowledge: The Science of Whiskey," appeared in 2016. Recent energies have turned to a broader science communication initiative called "Shots of Knowledge." I continue to write, lecture, provide workshops and short courses on whiskey.
I live in Fort Worth with my wife, four boys and two cats.