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Ben Caldwell's Personal Background


     I am a mid-western transplant originally from Virginia Beach, VA, where I graduated from Kempsville High School in 1986. I spent four years at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, near Richmond where I received my B.S. in chemistry. After graduation in 1990, I moved on to the chemistry program at the University of Virginia. It was there that my interested in biological chemistry blossomed, and I became fascinated with the structures of biological molecules such as proteins and enzymes. I spent five years in Dr. Charlie Grisham’s lab working on the effects of substrate analog binding and inhibition of the Na+,K+-ATPase. I also realized that my primary career goal was to teach biochemistry.

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    After finishing my Ph.D. at UVa in 1995, I decided to learn more about protein chemistry function in living systems and joined the Neuropeptide Lab under the direction of Drs. Betty Eipper and Richard Mains as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neuroscience Department of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. My work there focused on studying a newly identified protein kinase (PCIP2) involved in the routing and targeting of the membrane protein PAM in the secretory pathway of neuroendocrine cells. After three years at Johns Hopkins I accepted my current faculty position in the Chemistry Department at Missouri Western State University.


I am an avid reader. These days I'm into history and biographies. I also, like books that examine how science shaped history. Some titles to check out:  Napoleon's ButtonsA Short History of Nearly Everything, and Present at the Flood. After moving to St. Joseph I becema interested in the local "Border War" between Missouri Kansas during the 1850's-60's, and recently read The Devil Knows Hot to Ride about William Quantrill, who led a rag-tag band of Missouri Raiders during the Civil War and ultimately was responsible for the massacre and burning of Lawrence Kansas. (I certainly wouldn't wanted to have lived around here back then. One wrong answer about which side of the war you supported could get your house burned down - or WORSE!)

I listen to all types of music including alternative, classic and hard rock, new wave (80’s), Big Band, Oldies (50-& 60's Doo Wop)  and classical music.

I am the faculty advisor the Missouri Eta Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity (I am also a Brother from Va. Gamma, '90, #844).

I enjoy playing racket ball, which is a great way to relieve stress and get together with students and faculty from around campus outside of classes and meetings. 

I follow all kinds of sports, but especially football and baseball (and Lacross whenever I get a chance - Go Virginia!!!)


I follow the Pittsburgh Steelers and with a passion!  

  Congratulations to the 2005-06 and 2007-08 Steelers and their SuperBowl Championships!!!


Check out my daughter Abby's first bike ride (no training wheels)