I received my Ph. D. in Chemistry with Stanley J. Gill at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This followed undergraduate studies at the Colorado College (that small liberal arts institution nestled at the foot of Pike's Peak), which provided me with my first real research experience (in atmospheric chemistry, with Barry Hubert). A postdoc led me to Basel, Switzerland where I worked with Gerhard Schwarz, where I developed a hierarchical approach to modelling the helix-coil transition in polypeptides and a method for measuring pore formation in vesicles or cells — no electrical potential necessary! Then I spent 4 years in Corvallis, Oregon, initially as a postdoc and then as research assistant professor, with invaluable interactions with Ken van Holde and Shing Ho. I received a Guggenheim fellowship and used it to go back to Europe, to France. I am currently director of research (DR2) in the CNRS.