John W. Steinke, PhD

John W. Steinke, PhD Allergy

John W. Steinke, PhD

I have been at UVA for 13.5 yrs, following stops in Columbia, Mo, College Station, TX, and Denver , CO. I went straight from undergraduate to graduate school without taking time off for play. I have worked my way up to Associate Professor and have held many positions in our national allergy organization. I live in the Charlottesville suburbs with my wife and two sons.

Why Research?

Ever since I was a kid, I was always building, collecting and learning about the world around me, so the choice of research was just natural. I struggled with the idea of a PhD or MD and ultimately choose the PhD. I wanted to do things that would be translated back to human health and not just a textbook, so after my PhD studies I have worked in cancer research, and now asthma and sinus disease.

with sons

with sons

What brought you to Charlottesville?

A colleague from Denver told me it was just like Boulder: a small college in the foothills of the mountains with a National Park 30 min away. I am still looking for the mountains.

What excites you about your work?

Since we only work with humans, having our research be used to directly improve peoples’ lives.

Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?

That is hard to answer as I hope I have not had that moment yet. Either winning the JMU masters division climbing competition 2 years in a row or summiting Mt. Rainer.

family ready to climb

family ready to climb

Next life?

Retire to the family farm in Pennsylvania and travel abroad.

What are you usually doing on the weekend?

More often than not, time is spent chauffeuring the kids to various activities and sneaking in a workout. Occasionally, there is time to go hiking and backpacking.

How did you meet your partner?

Playing ultimate Frisbee in Washington Park while in Denver, Colorado, during my post-doctoral work.

scaling the heights

scaling the heights

Favorite vacation/activity spot?

No one particular place. Each year we pick a new state and explore what it has to offer.

Most admired person, and why?

C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general, who — against his personal beliefs — advocated the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, since in the end he felt it would save lives and prevent the spread of disease.

Best advice anyone ever gave you?

Go to different places for your education so you can experience alternative viewpoints that will allow you to better adapt to change.

What about you would surprise us?

In my free time, I enjoy mountaineering and rock climbing.