I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. My father was a physician and my mother was a "physician's wife", not a homemaker. I seldom spent time with my father who was the major influence on my life. I was frustrated by my mother's alcoholism and a father who was "married" to his profession. In seventh grade, I translated a medical journal article for my father from French to English; it was about salicylates (aspirin products) causing internal bleeding in susceptible patients. I loved science and the opportunity to contribute to my father's work was a source of joy. In school, my favorite subjects were always Math and Science.