Laura Miller was born in Watertown,
North South Dakota. She was an artistic child, showing an early interest in both music and dance. After attending Watertown High School, she moved on to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Mn. There she explored her interest in music and Macalester's Scottish heritage by learning to play the bagpipes. She soon discovered that playing bagpipes alone was not sufficiently embarrassing, so she also took up Highland dancing. She turned out to be a natural, and won first prize in a Highland dancing competition, which actually exists, believe it or not. However, after receiving multiple death threats from roommates and neighbors, Laura was forced to give up these pastimes. She consoled herself by taking up chemistry, and joined Rebecca Hoye’s lab, where she worked on the total synthesis of dideoxypetrosynol D. She graduated from Macalester with a B.A. in chemistry (as well as the ability to play bagpipes, and who can say that isn’t a life skill?). She joined the Sarpong lab when she realized that Richmond was also a Macalester graduate, in the hopes that he might some day play bagpipes with her. Thus far she has been disappointed, but she has perfected the art of convincing labmates whose judgment has been impaired by excessive intake of alcohol to let her teach them Highland dance steps.
Email: lauramiller at berkeley dot edu