Richmond "Grandmaster 'Pong" Sarpong was originally born in Bechem, Ghana but spent his childhood in several locations around Africa. One interesting fact about Richmond is that he is the only member of the Sarpong group to have been chased by a wild baboon. This probably explains his success later in college as a sprinter. Luckily, Richmond made it past his childhood years uneaten by the local wildlife, and attended the prestigious Maru-A-Pula school in Gaborone, Botswana. Deciding that the heat of Botswana was not for him, he came to the United States and enrolled at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where he majored in chemistry. After 4 years of breaking athletic records, Richmond moved on to graduate school at Princeton University where he spent two years eating a diet of entirely cheeseburgers. In the labs of Prof. Martin Semmelhack, Richmond studied functional analogs of the enediyne antitumor antibiotics. While a graduate student, Richmond amassed a collection of over 1000 CD's, and is currently trying to acquire a complete collection of John Mayer hits. After a successful graduate career, GmP moved on to Caltech, to do a postdoc in the labs of Brian Stoltz. As an UNCF-Pfizer postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, he was part of a team that completed the first total synthesis of the protein phosphatase inhibitor dragmacidin D. In 2004, Richmond left Caltech to join the faculty at Berkeley, with one small detour to Banana Republic so he could look stylish in his new position.
Email: rsarpong at berkeley dot edu