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A little more info about me....

WOW! there are people out there!

Hi to John, Sarah, and Charaf and the others yet to reply.

Since I was first on the mailing list I was a bit stingy about myself. I
mostly posted to see if the list worked and see if I got my own post....I
didn't so they must suppress the senders post. I am afraid I am a bit behind
everyone in the biology end of things. I spent 20 years as an engineer
developing hardware and software of various sorts until I realized that I
was very bored and found myself doing the same things over and over again. I
then so wisely(NOT) left a high paying job and went back to school
(undergraduate again) to study chemistry and physics...not totally sure what
I wanted to do. Through some strange turns I ended up at the University of
California in Santa Cruz and got interested in spectroscopy. While I was
there I joined a lab of a new professor who was interested in ultra fast
chemical dynamics(femtosecond, 10e-15 seconds)and built one of the first
Ti:sapphire systems. This led to several publications and my realizing that
I loved research. I then decided to pursue a graduate career but having a
house and being a single parent with a dwindling bank account I realized
that I would have to put that on hold. So now almost 6 years later I am
giving this another try with this new way of studying.

So you may ask why am I interested in PPS. Well the truth is that while
trying to stay in research(difficult in the US without a PhD) I managed an
X-ray beam line at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory where I met my
wife. She was completing her PhD at Harvard and was out collecting data on
some RNA. I found the crystallography she was doing interesting and what the
poor spectroscopist wishes he could see of the molecules he studies. I got
involved with her project and began to learn some crystallography. The
working together was great and she moved out to California after completing
her PhD and began a post doc at UCSF in a structure group working on
thymidylate synthase and associated drug design. Well this was great for me
since I got to help her with data collection and working on solving
structures in my spare time. Unfortunately I still had a full time job, now
at Xerox, developing lasers and drive electronics for laser printers so my
involvement was limited. Last year an opening occurred in a computational
chemistry group at UCSF for a person who could build and manage all the
computational resources for the group. Having never done this before I
wasn't sure but the plus was that I was allowed to pursue research on drug
design and structure solution if I wanted, and the pay was GOOD! So as you
guessed I took the job. It was harder than I thought and took a year to get
all the equipment and systems in place to have some free time. The one other
bad thing about the schools in the US is that I cant work full time as a
staff person and also enroll in classes for credit here! This was the most
frustrating thing I ever heard. Well luck struck when I went to the IUCR in
Glasgow a few months ago where my wife was speaking and attended David
Moss's presentation on the distance learning at Birkbeck. So I am sold and
here I am. I am hoping that the PPS and following that the Protein
Crystallography course will put me on track and fill in the holes in my
knowledge to help me up to the next step in my new career.

I am glad to meet all of you and look forward to this class. Oh and by the
way did anyone get David Moss's welcome email? I didn't it seems since there
was a glitch in my registration at first. If so could you forward it to me
at roneil@home.com. Thanks!

Regards all..


                                              #     #  #####
 Robert H. O'Neil                             #     # #     #
 Molecular Design Institute                   #     # #
 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry       #     # #
 Box 0446, Room U76-H                         #     # #
 University of California San Francisco       #     # #     #
 533 Parnassus Avenue                          #####   ##### #####  #######
 San Francisco CA 94143-0446                                #     # #
 Work:                                                      #       #
 oneil@francisco.compchem.ucsf.edu                           #####  #####
 (415) 502-6213  FAX: (415) 502-1411                              # #
 Home:                                                      #     # #
 roneil@home.com                                             #####  #
 (510) 656-7670