....is the President of the Carnegie Institution for Science (carnegiescience.edu). Prior to that he was a researcher and faculty member at Stanford University in California. He is a developmental biologist and geneticist who uses molecular biology to understand how genes control the development of embryos. He has been fortunate to work with creative and effective students and other colleagues. Together they examined how mechanisms of development reflect the evolutionary history of life on earth. His research has connected to birth defects and cancer that occur when development-regulating genes are damaged. He has taught undergraduate, graduate, and medical students about embryonic development, genetic disease, and evolution.
The genes he studied control the formation of the shapes, colors, and patterns of animals that delight us in nature, and they control the formation of the brain structures that govern our instincts, thinking, and memory.
He travels to many places around the world where the magnificence of life remains resilient despite over-population, habitat destruction, and excessive resource depletion. His intention is to join many others in documenting what is at risk and speaking out for its protection, to conserve the diversity, richness, and quality of animal and plant life, and consequently human life.