By the time I reached high school my father's grocery store had made our life adequately comfortable and I was able to choose, without any practical encumbrances, the subjects that I wanted to pursue in college.
The RNA World referred to an hypothetical stage in the origin of life on Earth.
About seven years later I was given a book about the periodic table of the elements. For the first time I saw the elegance of scientific theory and its predictive power.
Indeed, we are privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to study Nature and to follow our own thoughts and inspirations in a time of relative tranquillity and in a land with a generous and forward-looking government.
For our immediate family and relatives, Canada was a land of opportunity.
Nevertheless, as is a frequent occurrence in science, a general hypothesis was constructed from a few specific instances of a phenomenon.
I spent eighteen months as a graduate student in physics at Columbia University, waiting unhappily for an opportunity to work in a laboratory and wondering if I should continue in physics.
It was from them that I learned that hard work in stable surroundings could yield rewards, even if only in infinitesimally small increments.
We are very fortunate to be recognized here in such an extraordinary manner for work that we enjoy.
My intention was to enroll at McGill University but an unexpected series of events led me to study physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Eight months later, having left Columbia, I was studying physics in a summer program and working in Colorado when I decided to enroll as a graduate student in biophysics.