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Rakesh Mogul, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Spaceward Bound Mojave 2008

Who am I and What I do:
I’m a professor at Cal Poly Pomona in Southern California and teach Biochemistry and sometimes Organic Chemistry.  I have a number of research interests that range from the role of metals in biology to the study of extremophiles. I got my Ph.D. from U.C. Davis (in Organic Chemistry) and lived in Northern California for about ten years. During that time, I did a postdoctorate at U.C. Santa Cruz where I worked on the inhibition kinetics of lipoxygenase and the peaceful nature of crashing waves and redwood trees. I also worked at the NASA Ames Research Center for a few years, where I had my first chance to discover the broad fields of Astrobiology and Nanobiotechnology.

What got me interested:
I was always interested in science and the inherent logic of Life.  As a student in school and college, it was the science of space, the origins of the universe, the realm of atoms, and the precision of biomolecules that I found to be the most compelling of subjects.  Sometime during college, I also discovered a talent in communication and thus dedicated my Life to becoming a teacher.

Things about me:
I grew up mostly in San Diego but spent much of my childhood in the Midwest.  I moved around a lot as kid and as a result love to travel to far away places.  Traveling around the world with a small backpack is a major hobby of mine.  Some of my favorite places that I traveled to include Laos, Angor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Burma (Myanmar), the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, Hampi in India, Sydney (Australia), and Rome (Italy).



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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: June 2011