Born in Big Spring, Texas in 1943, I grew up in San Antonio, majored in chemistry and minored in zoology at Texas Tech University (B.A., 1965), then majored in physiology and biochemistry, and minored in psychology, at the University of Kansas (Ph.D., 1969). I spent a year of postdoctoral study with the Kansas Bureau of Child Research.
I taught at the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Columbia University (1970-73), and at the Wayne State University School of Medicine (1973-76). Dual appointments followed at the Neurosciences Research Program, MIT, and the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation in Waltham (1977-83). I taught at Simmons College in Boston from 1980 to 1991, then joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, serving as Chair until 1999.
I was witness to the birth and early growth of neuroscience as a field, attending the inaugural meetings of both the American Society of Neurochemistry and the Society for Neuroscience. I have also been a major contributor to the new field of astrobiology. Now retired from active teaching, I continue my research and scholarly work in neuroscience, astrobiology, and evolution.
In addition to a love of science, including its history and philosophy, I have long been concerned about the intersection between science and public policy. With an abiding interest in politics, I served as an elected Alderman in the City of Newton, MA for eight years (1984-1991), and worked as a policy aide in the Colorado state legislature for 9 years (2011-2019).
In 2012, I studied playwriting at Metropolitan State University in Denver, and have now written a 10 minute play, three one-act plays, and three full-length plays,