Just because someone is famous for making angsty rock music doesn't mean they can't have a super serious geeky side to them too. The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland is crushing stereotypes by landing a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology because he wants to help people living with HIV.
Dexter Holland at Bravalla Festival 2014
The 51-year-old singer and guitarist (whose real name is Bryan Holland) graduated with his Ph.D from the University of Southern California yesterday (May 11th 2017) after submitting his research into the molecular structure of the HIV virus.
The actual title of his thesis is 'Discovery of Mature MicroRNASequences within the Protein-Coding Regions of Global HIV-1 Genomes: Predictions of Novel Mechanisms for Viral Infection and Pathogenicity'. Yes, it's quite the mouthful. Plus, it's 175 pages according to its author, all of which you can read online.
'As many of you already know I started the Ph.D. a long time ago but put it on hold when we started touring a lot. I finally went back a few years ago', Dexter said on The Offspring website. 'My research focused on the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. I am interested in virology and wanted to contribute in some small way to the knowledge which has been learned about HIV and AIDS.'
'My research is not meant to be a cure or even an immediate step toward a cure, but I believe that by adding to the vast amount of information that we've learned about HIV in the last 30 years or so, we'll get there', he continued. 'Toward that end, I'm going to continue to do research, and you'll probably see some of my research papers get published here and there over the next few years.'
Dexter Holland is not the only chart-topping rockstar to have turned his interest to science. British physicist Brian Cox may be best known as a Professor of particle physics these days, but he was formerly part of the band D:Ream who had the hit 'Things Can Only Get Better'. Plus, Queen's Brian May is also an astrophysicist! What is it about Brians/Bryans?