I am Scottish.
My mother and father are Scottish.
The Nicol branch of the family tree were carpenters in the Greenock ship yards and woolen mill workers until my grandfather, James, became a grocery store owner.
The Bryce branch of the tree dug coal in the mines of Armadale and made bricks in the foundries in Bathgate for generations until my father, David, took a different direction and joined the Royal Marines.
My childhood was our family-- a family business, love, respect, adventure, trouble only siblings can create.
Winnie The Pooh. Aesops Fables. Richard Kiplins "If". Buddy Holly. Beethoven. Evil Knievel. Flattop haircuts. Broken arms. Camping in tents. Spanish guitars. Edith Piaf. 10p mixes. Chips on saturdays. Billy Bragg. Leonard Cohen. Robert Burns. School uniforms. Drying dishes. Laying paving. Hillman imp. John Steinbeck. Robert Burns.
I do science.
I lead teams of people who do science.
Still in high school, I met Nobel Prize winning pharmacologist Sir James Black and by the next year I was doing a degree in "Immunology & Pharmacology". Then, I was on a train to London to spend my summers working in his labs. I graduated and went into an industry PhD position but met with layoffs less than a year in. Severance was burned on a trip to the Berber Caves in Tunisia where Star Wars was filmed. I worked as a hospital phlebotomist until another PhD came along and I hit Manchester-- Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, James, Happy Mondays, Oasis. Immunology was by accident, but I loved it. A short toxic postdoc made me flee to the new world of Boston Children's Hospital in 1999 and it changed my life forever...
Five years as a postdoc in the Harvard Medical School environment changed how I approached science while Boston let me meet the person I would spend my life with-- oh, and I saw the Red Sox won the World Series...and then the White Sox the very next year!
Chicago came along when Northwestern gave me the chance to test my independence and grow my leadership. I spent over a decade there. Grants, students, publications, seminars.