Name: Dan Brewer
Stats: 5'4" / 146 lbs.
Occupation: Graduate Student, Ph.D. Biochemistry
Location: Worcester, MA
Found On: Facebook
Biochemist Dan Brewer is a fantastic mix of smart and sexy. We talk to him about life in and out of the lab, and... knitting?!? Check it out!
What are you wearing as we speak?
Jeans commando, and a yellow Carleton College T.
Is commando SOP for you?
Depends - about 25% of the time. Most of the time it's boxers. I like to breathe. The rest of the time, it alternates between boxer briefs, commando or a jock.
What exactly does a biochemist like you do?
In my case, I work on the interaction between proteins involved in growth and secretion. Trying to identify and characterize those interactions to better understand the system as a whole, from yeast all the way up to people.
What kind of applications would we see your work in?
I do primary research, so there are no direct applications. But, these proteins are involved in everything from making sure your gut has an inside and an outside and your neurons have ends and direction to the secretion of nutrients and hormones into your blood. There's very little that they're NOT involved in -- including thought itself.
What about when you're not in the lab? What occupies your time?
I lift, play frisbee, hike, camp, backpack, ski... when I'm inside, I read voraciously, knit, dye and spin my own yarn.
Tell me more about the knitting and yarn? How did you get interested in that?
I learned to crochet when I was a little kid from my gtrandmother - been interested in fiber arts ever since. Mom had a spinning wheel, and I learned the basics as a kid. Recently I learned to knit, and borrowed my Mom's wheel to learn to spin. I'm planning to start my own side business this fall, selling my own yarn. I also have been dabbling in leathercraft, and may begin selling some of that as well.
Are you a Massachusetts native?
Yes, I grew up in Hampden, MA
If I found myself stuck in Worcester for a weekend, what would you recommend doing?
Uh... staying home. (he laughs) Going out to a movie, for a hike, or going to eat. We have good restaurants, a decent theater, and a few good nature preserves, that's about it.
And it's "woost-er", right?
For the natives, it's "wuh-stah" for the rest of us it's... "wooster" with an abbreviated "oo" more like... "brother".
What's on Dan's iPod / DVR / desk right now?
My iPod contains all my music which is a mix of pop, classic, world, musical, country, and pop music. Right now, I'm listening to Pandora on my computer which is playing "Back 2 Good" by Matchbox 20. On my DVD player is Queer as Folk which I'm watching as I spin my latest yarns.
If you had tickets to see anyone you like in concert, you'd see...
ANYONE? Hrm... Melissa Etheridge or Sarah McLachlan probably, since those are expensive concerts.
I have an extreme weakness for chocolate and anything wintergreen - and I love a good cup of tea. Most of my other habits are fairly healthy.
What do you see yourself doing in 5/10 years?
At this point it's rather up in the air. Most likely, I will be moving to the D.C. area and working for the government. Could be doing research or not, depending. After that, who knows?