There he began to work on fundamental aspects of how retroviruses known to cause cancer in animals reproduce.
His work, in collaboration with several other scientists, provided unexpected insights into the process of retrovirus replication and was recognized as innovative in publication in leading scientific journals.
He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year and graduated at the top of his class.
Upon graduation he decided to learn as much as possible about science as possible towards creating new ways to treat and cure disease.
Work in this laboratory gave him an excellent grounding in the tools of what was then the new field of molecular biology.
As a professor, he published more than two hundred research articles in leading scientific journals and edited several books.Early on, as a consequence of observing his mother's suffering from multiple health issues, he decided to devote his professional life to improvements human health. His younger sister Susan became a specialist in computer systems.His early life is described in the book Rapture by Brian Alexander (1d) and Gene Masters by Ingrid Winkelgren (3d).This research led to fundamental insights including the "end to end jumping" of the initial copy of the genome.His laboratory discovered that the key determinant of the ability of retroviruses, those that do not carry oncogenes, to cause cancer is their ability to rapidly replicate in cells that themselves grow rapidly.
He was listed by Time Magazine as one of the world's 25 most influential business people in 2001 and one of the 100 most influential leaders in biotechnology by Scientific American in 2015. He was raised on a Naval Base, the Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake in the Mojave Desert of California surrounded by weapons scientists and engineers.