I was born in Asmara, Eritrea, which was an Italian, British, and Ethiopian colony. After finishing high school in Asmara, I went to Sudan due to the war in Eritrea, and I stayed 18 months in Sudan. I had an opportunity to go to France as a tourist. While I was in France, I applied for political asylum at the United States Embassy in Paris, France.
In 1981, I came to Nashville with the help of a Catholic charity. I enrolled at Tennessee State University and graduated in May 1986, with a B.S. in Chemistry. I married on June 5, 1986, and my wife and I have been blessed with two children.
Since 1987, I have been working at Vanderbilt as a Research Assistant. My current research involves testing compounds for selective inhibition of COX-1 or COX-2 metabolism of arachidonic acid.