I grew up in Los Angeles, CA and attended the University of California. I received my medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and was an internal medicine resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH. As an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the Centers for Disease Control, I was a field epidemiologist in Utah and served in WHO’s smallpox eradication campaign in India. I then completed his training in internal medicine (IM) and the subspecialty of infectious diseases (ID) at the University of Utah, and attained board certification in IM and ID. I continued research on bacterial pathogenesis at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, where I was co-discoverer of the cause of Lyme disease and became section chief of arthropod-borne diseases. From 1986 to 1996 I was at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Chief of the Division of ID. Since 1996, I have been at the University of California Irvine as Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. From 2005 to 2014 I was the Director and Principal Investigator of the NIH-supported Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infections. I have served on several editorial boards, as a Division Chair with the American Society for Microbiology, as member of scientific advisory boards, as chair of the university’s academic senate, and as chair and standing member of NIH and Veterans Administration study sections. My research has mainly been devoted to the pathogenesis, immunity, and genetics of the spirochetal infections relapsing fever and Lyme disease, but have also included other pathogens, including staphylococci and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. These investigations covered a variety of research approaches, including epidemiology, animal models, in vitro and in vivo antibiotic susceptibility, molecular biology, immunoassay development, and evaluation of vaccines in mouse models and under field conditions.