The Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics
Department of Biomedical Engineering
The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
When did you join the YJC Board?
Why did you join the YJC Board?
I feel that supporting programs aimed at training young people for jobs in lieu of college/university is a wonderful idea and vital to creating a truly vibrant and functional society.
What is your occupation?
I am a Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern. I am also the Founder and Chief Science Officer of Aptinyx, Inc. I am interested in drug discovery for central nervous disorders such as depression and neuropathic pain.
What was your first job?
I was 12 years old and I worked with my grandfather and uncle building homes. Specifically I learned to be a lather. Lots of nail pounding and use of a hammer with an ax on one end.
What did you learn from your first job?
What I learned was how different it was to do a repetitive job for 8 hours a day, every day. I learned that I did not want a life of manual albeit skilled labor. I also learned great respect for my grandfather and uncle because they did this work in the summers to augment their income. They were sought after specialists in the trade but my uncle was a firefighter and my grandfather a tool and die person that build jet engines for a large company. They were very disciplined and very knowledgable. And very hard workers! A great exposure to the value and dignity of work is what I really learned!