I received my Ph. D. in Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder working on the thermodynamics of cooperative behavior in macromolecules. This followed undergraduate studies at the Colorado College (the small liberal arts institution nestled at the foot of Pike's Peak), which provided me with my first real research experience (in atmospheric chemistry). A postdoc led me to Basel, Switzerland, where I developed a new approach to modelling specific side-chain interactions in helix-coil transitions of polypeptides and an experimental method for measuring pore formation in vesicles or cells — no electrical potential necessary! After several years at Oregon State University, a Guggenheim fellowship gave me the opportunity to go back to Europe, in particular to France. I am currently director of research (DR2) in the CNRS.