I grew up in the corn fields of Central Illinois and from the age of 11 spent my summers detasseling in the fields. Both sets of grandparents had farms and I was accustomed to both chasing and being chased by cattle while searching for snakes in the pastures. Though we lived in town, we raised chickens and rabbits. While in high school I came up with a plan to combine my love of animals and my love for science by entering the veterinary profession. Many guidance counselors tried to curb my expectations by telling me how few positions and opportunities there were, but I refused to come up with a back up plan. I attended the University of Illinois for both undergraduate and veterinary school, graduating from veterinary school in 2005. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Spanish. I spent two years living along the Texas-Mexico border becoming fluent in Spanish and can still communicate in Spanish passably.
While in undergrad I worked at the veterinary school in a research lab in the oncology department to identify oncogenes associated with injection site soft tissue sarcomas. Through veterinary school I worked in various research labs assisting with research projects with animal models for multiple sclerosis and virulence factors in salmonella infections in pigs.
After graduating from veterinary school, I worked in the Chicago suburbs for a few years, but the commute time and wanting to be more present while my daughters were growing up helped me to make the decision to move to Utah where my wife has some family. I now have four daughters ranging from a senior in high school to kindergarten. When not at work I enjoy shuttling them around and attending their various performances as each has artistic and musical talents they inherited from their mother.