I primarily grew up in San Bernardino, California, just to the East of Los Angeles. I studied Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara where for a few years I was eager to pursue graduate work in Chemistry. I got over this desire however and continued on into graduate school at Harvard University in Developmental Biology. I did my thesis work in Doug Melton’s group and studied how embryonic germ layers are formed using the frog Xenopus laevis as a model system. I moved on to Cold Spring Harbor where as a fellow I studied the regulation of gene expression in murine taste buds. In 2007 I came to the Janelia Farm Research Campus where I am currently investigating the transcriptional control of gene expression in the brains of mice and flies.