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About Dr. V.

About Dr. V.


I grew up in upstate New York, in a small town near Oneida Lake.  I attended the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University), where I earned a BA in Chemistry and German Language and Literature.  As an undergraduate, I spent a semester at the University of Tbingen, in southwestern Germany. Directly after college, I earned an M.S. and  Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of Rochester, where I also did post-doctoral work in protein crystallography.  I worked for a year at a start-up pharmaceutical company in the Boston area before beginning my career as an educator.  I taught at Dana Hall School and Arlington High School before joining the faculty at The Bromfield School

I enjoy reading, playing Words with Friends (even though Mr. Wass usually beats me), playing the flute, bicycling through the neighborhood, and photographing my children.   

Non-Fiction Book Recommendations:

  •     The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum


  •     The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Keane

           A funny, informative and insightful overview of the development of the periodic table.  Truly a must read!

  • Uncle Tungsten, by Oliver Sacks

Sacks, a leading neurosurgeon, recounts his childhood in WWII London, including his  amazing forays into experimental and descriptive chemistry in his home laboratory. 

  •     *A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

With wit and humor, Bryson summarizes the key findings across a range of sciences.  Bryson's engaging but nontechnical language immerses the reader in the lives of the scientists as well as their discoveries.

  •     The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, by Larry Gonick

This book makes an excellent supplement to traditional chemistry texts, especially for the visual learner.  Chemical concepts are thoroughly and humorously presented in a user friendly cartoon format.

  • Salt:  A World History by Mark Kurlansky

In this fascinating book, Kurlansky details the importance of salt in human cultures through the ages, and its impact on diet, politics, economics, and technology. If you are a history lover, this book is a must read!

  •     The Fly in the Ointment--70 Fascinating Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Life by Dr. Joe Schwarcz

The title says it all.  Find a copy and start reading!  You will probably also enjoy this prolific author's other books in a similar vein.

  • The 13th Element:  The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus by John Emsley 

The discovery, uses, and dangers of phosphorus.  Any book by this author, known for his works on popular science, is an enjoyable read.

Some of my favorite authors include:

  • Jane Austen

  • J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Barbara Kingsolver

  • Thomas Mann (auf Deutsch!)

  • Lee and Miller's Liaden universe novels

  • Elizabeth Moon

  • George Eliot

  • Rumer Godden


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