Meet a Scientist: Dr. Jeffrey Thompson
I always knew that I wanted to be a scientist, dating back to my childhood fascination with the NASA moon missions. Although biology had not been at the forefront of my interests, I was literally blown away by the elegance and simplicity of the genetic code during my undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to study genetics and molecular biology. I pursued my doctorate in molecular biology at UCLA, working in a lab that studied the relationship between DNA packaging and gene expression, which has become a lifelong fascination. Since coming to Denison in 2003, my lab has explored the manner in which specific DNA packaging proteins influence the recognition and repair of DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Student researchers are integrally involved in the work in my lab, and many have been co-authors on work that I have published. I also make use of various aspects of my research in my teaching, so that students in my classes have the opportunity to experience how "real" science is done. When I am not at Denison, I spend my time with my wonderful wife and daughter, with whom I enjoy traveling, going to museums, watching "indie" films, and exploring the diverse array of restaurants in the Columbus area.