A bit of history
I grew up in what was then USSR and moved to the US as a teenager. I have studied chemistry and mathematics at Simon's Rock College of Bard before working for a year as an industrial chemist and then absconding for graduate school. The Applied Mathematics Program at University of Arizona let me spread my interdisciplinary wings: I worked with Bill Montfort in Biochemistry and Joe Watkins in Mathematics on modeling the structural dynamics of the transport proteins nitrophorin. I then worked as a CIBM (Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine) postdoc at UW-Madison with George Phillips (who is now at Rice) and Qiang Cui.