About

I’ve had a long strange trip to becoming an author. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, where my first few years were spent in a housing project near the Duwamish River in a place called South Park, not far from Boeing’s aircraft assembly plants. I studied hard at West Seattle High School and the University of Washington and pulled off a perfect score on the Biology Section of the Graduate Record Exam, which got me into the Biochemistry Ph.D. program at Cornell University Medical College on Manhattan Island. In between bouts of bar hopping and hell raising in Fun City, I managed to get in some time studying protein chemistry and eventually got my doctor’s degree. After that I tried some genetic engineering and peptide chemistry in a couple of Nobel Prize winning labs at Rockefeller University. Next, I moved home to Seattle to help found the multi-billion-dollar biotechnology company, Immunex Corporation. While there I cloned and patented some human immune system hormone genes and produced the first commercially successful nanotechnology device, a molecular handle I named “the flag.” It’s one of the most popular biotechnology techniques and has been used by thousands of genetic engineers to study every major disease and so many microbes, organisms and biological molecules that it would be impossible to list them all here.

I currently spend quite a bit of time writing novels and short stories. I do some biotechnology consulting work on the side.

While I’m at it, I might as well mention that I play guitar and bass and have performed onstage with the likes of blues legend John Lee Hooker and rock supergroups The Kingsmen and The Drifters. My current band is The Beaters.

9 Responses to About

  1. Patricia Maguire says:

    Amazing travels. I went to school with you, same class, mutual friends. Here I am sixty one and still craving an education. I’ll read your Blog and maybe learn a thing or two.
    Thanks,
    Trish

  2. Tom Hopp says:

    Hi Trish,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, my life has been quite an adventure for a kid from the small town of West Seattle. I hope yours has been adventuresome too. Stop by again. I try to update my blog at least weekly, and often with something related to my roots on the west side.

  3. betty hopp says:

    found your blog on facebook so of course i read it.dinosar history is interesting,am most interested in your history as part of it is mine to(my claim to fame?) now, as far nas immitex goes can you do anything about my wrinkles? (smile) seriously is it true your connected to the discovery of interferon? i have hep c,the resistant strain and was not given treatment but maybe in the future as it improves(ie side effects/success rates with my strain of hep.c) maybe your work will save my life! talk about full circle.amlooking forward to reading dino wars.

  4. Tom Hopp says:

    Hi Betty. Yes, I worked on some of the original interferon studies years ago, but it’s been quite a while. Take care of that hepatitis C. It’s a nasty one, as you know.

  5. lkheads says:

    Are you referring to the original interferon studies conducted at the New York Blood Center in collaboration with Sloan Kettering Memorial back in the early 80′s?

  6. Tom Hopp says:

    Yep, I was the purification guy who got the interferon from human white blood cells. Hard work, soon to be simplified by cloned interferon.

  7. lkheads says:

    I’ve always been a science fiction enthusiast and a friend of mine who writes science fiction short stories was talking about Earthfall, and anticipating your new book. The middle initial and the ‘sci-fi author’ title threw me a little, but I thought it was likely you. I worked there at the Blood Center in the same dept for Bernie (Dr. Horowitz) at the same time you did; I was his admin asst. It’s great to see how well you’re doing, how far you’ve come, and how many incredible things clearly lie ahead. My friend just loaned me Blood on the Moon to start with; I’m looking forward to a great read, and the start of what is now a trilogy. Kudos!

  8. Tom Hopp says:

    I remember you very well, Kirstin. Didn’t we get an ovation one time at the City Limits country dance club after we ten-stepped our brains out to Charlie Daniels’ Orange Blossom Special? Urban Cowboy days in New York City. Good times.

  9. lkheads says:

    Omigosh, too funny!! Yes – yes we did, and yes, they were really fun times; a little crazy, but an awful lot of fun! It’s good to be in touch Hopp, and again, I’m truly so happy to read about everything you’ve accomplished; not the least of which is this newest, and I’m sure, well-deserved honor by your alma mater – who’d have thunk it, huh? Well, if time hasn’t changed you too much, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble submitting a fittingly impressive resume. I’m certainly impressed! Well, keep ten-stepping my friend; I’ll be sure to check in from time to time just to keep up with what I’m sure are many ovations still to come your way!

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