My name is Ian Hill. I am from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where I was born and raised. My passion for biology began in the gardens of my family members. My grandmother was a passionate flower gardener, the head of a local garden club, and my dad grew some of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten. It wasn’t until my high school chemistry class that I really began to think about molecules. It was my interest in molecules and biology that lead me to major in Biochemistry and Polymer Chemistry at North Carolina State University. I came to Harvard with a strong interest in gene expression and a curiosity about how species integrate environmental signals, grow, and adapt. I work at the Boston Children’s Hospital studying mechanisms of gene expression control in pathogenic bacteria.
From a young age, artistic expression was encouraged in my family. I played the tuba, I wrote excruciatingly awkward poems, and I even won a blue ribbon in the Dixie Classic Fair for a collage I made of Oak Island Lighthouse in the fourth grade. But, the necessity of art, the feeling that I needed to create things to express novel feelings, didn’t come until graduate school. Getting a nice SLR camera was life-changing, I took over 50,000 photos in the first year. It gave me a way to explore the world around me and, literally, gave me the resolution to focus on the small things.