Greetings Forbesians! I recently renewed for a second 4-year term as Master of Forbes College. The first 4 years were great fun, and I look forward to sharing the next 4 years with the class of 2018.
I’ve been at Princeton for 25 years, and I’ve been affiliated with Forbes for almost the entire time. (Go Forbes!) When I’m not at Forbes (or in the Master’s residence next door), I have a ‘day job’ on the other side of campus as a Professor of Chemistry with affiliations in Molecular Biology and Genomics. (Yes, you can ask me about pre-med.)
In addition to teaching, I run a research lab, which includes postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and some terrific undergraduates. This year 3 Forbesians will be doing Senior Thesis research in my lab. (Go Forbes!) Together, this research team works in two areas: Part of the group works on synthetic biology and attempts to sustain life using genes & proteins designed ‘from scratch.’ The other part of me research group works on Alzheimer’s disease and searches for new therapeutics.
I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and have lived in various places, ranging from Anchorage to Jerusalem. I went to college at Cornell. Then, after dropping out of academia and living in Alaska for awhile, I did a PhD at MIT and postdoctoral studies at Duke Medical School.
My wife, Dr. Judy Swan, is Associate Director of the Princeton Writing Program. Our daughter, Shira, graduated from Georgetown; and our son, Jonathan, graduated from NYU this past June. Many of you will also meet Caspian, our small dog -- a Forbes Mascot, and the only creature who is actually comfortable calling me “Master”.
When I am not teaching, researching, or trying to Master Forbes, I enjoy traveling, backpacking, skiing, inline skating, and bicycling. (Ask me about some terrific 20-mile bike rides near Princeton and/or some great places to inline skate.)
One last thing. The title “Master” sounds intimidating. Actually I’m kind of scared of it myself. Don’t let fancy titles put you off. The title may be intimidating, but the person is not! So if you see me in the dining room, sit down and tell me your story. I can’t wait to meet you !