My name is Bor-Kai Hsiung (熊柏凱 in Traditional Chinese), also known as Bill among my friends here in the States. I’m currently co-advised by Dr. Todd A. Blackledge (Spider lab) & Dr. Matt D. Shawkey (Bird feather lab), my corporate sponsor is Sherwin-Williams. I enrolled at UAkron in Fall 2012.
I was born and lived most of my life in Taiwan, R.O.C. I found my interests in Life Sciences in general very early on in my life (junior high). It was partly influenced by one of the famous techno-thriller novels written by Michael Crichton – The Jurassic Park. Therefore, after graduating from National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan) with a major in Applied Chemistry, I got my first Master’s degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan).
Then I went to a Biomedical Sciences, Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside. However, due to personal health issues, my study there got interrupted and I had to take a medical leave for about a year and half. This is also a turning point for me. During my leave, I bumped to a TEDTalk – Janine Benyus: The promise of biomimicry on TED.com. And I knew immediately that my real passion and what I would like to do for the rest of my life are in Biomimicry.
I graduated from UC-Riverside with a second Master’s degree. Using Google, I kept an eye on any opportunity that I can get to learn more about Biomimicry. In 2011, I became one of the first cohort of Biomimicry Specialty Program hosted by Biomimicry 3.8. During our first in-person intense session of that program, one of our instructors – Carl Hastrich mentioned that there was going to be a Biomimicry Ph.D. program at The University of Akron very soon. So the educational opportunitity was on my radar ever since. Early in 2012, when the UAkron officially called for applications for Biomimicry Fellows, I applied. And now, here I am in Akron!
1. The mechanisms behind spider silks formation and how they affect the properties of silks. 2. Structural colors on spiders.