I was born in a small industrial town in south India called Neyveli. After getting a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, I came to the United States with a vague idea of combining engineering and biology. A degree (M.S.E.) in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, Seattle led to my interest in neuroscience. A Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics at the University of Washington followed, and postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, solidified my path in neuroscience research. I came to Harvard University as an Assistant Professor in 1999, and am now a Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology and the Director of the Center for Brain Science. I continue my daily fight to maintain a healthy balance between pursuing one area of research in depth and getting tempted by exciting new directions. A flattering profile of me can be found in the Harvard Gazette. You can also learn a bit more about me in this Q & A in Current Biology.