Thomas P. Hopp was born in Seattle, Washington, where he lived his earliest years in a housing project on the banks of the Duwamish River. Good grades at West Seattle High School and the University of Washington as well as a perfect score on the Graduate Record Examination got him into the Biochemistry Ph.D. program at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Hopp studied genetic engineering at Rockefeller University and then helped found the multi-billion-dollar biotechnology company, Immunex Corporation. He discovered and patented genes for the immune stimulating hormone interleukin one. He also created genetically altered animals with human genes as well as the first commercially successful nanotechnology device, a molecular handle called the Flag epitope. He worked in the field with paleontologist Jack Horner, excavating bones of the nest-building duckbilled dinosaur Maiasaura. He published scientific articles on his brooding-to-flight hypothesis, in which wing feathers of birds developed first for nesting and then for flying. He plays guitar and bass, and has performed onstage with blues legend John Lee Hooker and rock super-groups The Kingsmen and The Drifters. He has lived in San Diego and on Manhattan Island, but now lives near Seattle.