My childhood was marked by frequent moves across the globe:
I was born in the Netherlands (Holland). When I was 3 years old we moved to Suriname. When I was 7 years old we left Suriname to move to Michigan where I went to first and second grade and learned English. Already at this age I was developing an interest in nature and science. Then we spent four years in Trinidad and I attended Standard 3 to Form 2 in the British system. During these years I continued to be fascinated by science and even received a student microscope from my grandfather as a birthday present. When I was twelve the family moved once more to Michigan and I was able to do my four years of high school in one place before my family moved on to England.
My young adulthood was marked by a very prolonged educational journey as student and teacher:
I spent four years going to college at Andrews University in Michigan where I obtained a BSc in Biology. While a college student I worked in the biology department green house and laboratories. I was lab assistant for Animal Physiology, Human Physiology, Plant Physiology, Cell Physiology, and Genetics. I already knew I was very interested in teaching.
Next, I spent nine years at Loma Linda University in California where I was one of the first five students who enrolled in a brand new program called The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). This program was designed to turn out professionals with both an MD and PhD degree who would be able to carry out clinical research. I got my PhD in Biochemistry in 1991 and my MD degree in 1992. While in Loma Linda I also met and married (my ex-husband) Graeme Lindbeck who was doing his postdoctoral fellowship while I was getting my PhD. (Graeme Lindbeck also teaches at Valencia)