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Listen or download interview (mp3, 34 minutes, 21MB)
As a young man, neurobiologist John Hildebrand was torn between his love of science and his passion for playing music. So he chose to live a dual life, working as a professional musician by night and leading innovative scientific studies of the insect nervous system by day.
Using the moth Manduca sexta as a model, Hildebrand has explored the connection between olfaction--the sense of smell--and behavior. His work has revealed unexpected links between smell perception and brain development, as well as the role of smell in feeding and host selection--an area of research that's critical to human health because it plays a role in vector-borne diseases like malaria.
John Hildebrand is a Regents' professor of neuroscience at the University of Arizona. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.
Last Updated: 12-12-2014
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The audio files linked above are part of the National Academy of Sciences InterViews series. Opinions and statements included in these audio files are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences.