David W. Bollivar's research involves the process by which cells make important pigments such as heme and chlorophyll, studying their synthesis from the same starting material.

Your hometown?

I grew up in central Illinois in the country outside the small town of McLean (population 850).  We raised Corriedale sheep and went to county fairs during the summer to show the sheep.

Alma mater?

I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1989, earned my Ph. D. from Indiana University and spent several years at Brown University as a postdoctoral research fellow.

Why Wesleyan?

I think IWU is a great place for students who want to have personal contact with faculty members.  I enjoy getting to know students as people and working with some of them one-on-one in the research laboratory.  I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping students to really understand biology.

Your teaching?

I teach Genetics, Molecular Genetics, and parts of General Biology.  I also have a strong interest in biochemistry.

Wesleyan students?

I enjoy IWU students because they are curious and enjoy getting involved in a wide variety of activities.  I especially enjoy seeing the progression of students over their four years.

Biggest thrill?

Being a parent.

For fun?

I really enjoy learning about new cultures.  I have traveled to Australia, Germany, France, and Denmark.  Our family has also hosted two high school exchange students and we are planning to host another next year.  During the summer of 2009, I traveled to Denmark to do research with a colleague there.

I also enjoy home improvement and remodeling.  I finished the basement in our first house.

The best?

When a well-designed experiment works and the results are clear. 

Favorite book?

Harry Potter (all of them), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Favorite music?

I like a lot of musical styles.  I am a fan of the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chapter 6, and I recently discovered Jason Mraz. I also enjoy folk, jazz, blues, classical and Broadway musicals.
David Bollivar

David Bollivar received a grant in 2009 from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to support research in Denmark in collaboration with Mats Hansson of the Carlsberg Laboratories, to advance the understanding of chlorophyll biosynthesis.

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