My love for chemistry started in High School, when I took a chemistry class from a Peace Corp volunteer in DR Congo (then called Zaire). She instilled into her students an interest in understanding the underlying foundational basis for structure and reactivity to explain chemical phenomena rather than relying on rote memorization.
I’ve been fortunate to study and work around the world. I graduated from the University of Kinshasa (DR Congo) with a Licenciate in Chemistry in 1983, and was retained by the University of Kinshasa to serve as an Associate Lecturer at the Chemistry Department, Faculty of Sciences until 1988. Pursuing my longstanding interest in synthetic chemistry, I served as an Exchange Research Fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium from 1988 to 1989, and went on to study in Japan. Following a 6-month Japanese language training at Osaka University of Foreign Studies, I joined Mie University Graduate School of Engineering and earned a Master’s degree in synthetic organic chemistry in 1992.
I moved on to the United States and obtained my Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Akron in 1998.
The travel bug has always been in my blood, and being fluent in English, French, Swahili, Lingala and having a working knowledge of Japanese has not only helped in my travels, but also has allowed me to productively work, collaborate, and build lasting friendships with colleagues with different cultures and languages from around the world.
Today, I live in Albany, New York with my wife. I’m the proud father of two children: my son is a practicing lawyer and my daughter (following somewhat in dad’s footsteps!) is in Graduate Pharmacy School.