Joe Polacco is a native of the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He holds a PhD from Duke University, with emphases in biochemistry, chemistry and genetics. After two years as an assistant professor at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and eight months as a postdoctoral at Brookhaven National Laboratories, he entered the field of plant science, spending five years as a staff geneticist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station—the oldest in the U.S. In 1979 he joined the Biochemistry Department of the University of Missouri, where he is professor emeritus.
Polacco was twice a senior Fulbright fellow. He has extensive international research and teaching experience in science, in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. He has published 68 peer-reviewed research articles as well as many reviews, opinion pieces and book chapters and has edited two major monographs. In addition, he published bilingual poetry (Spanish and English) while at MU, where he is known as the “poet laureate of biochemistry,” producing both serious and humorous pieces.
VINA, A BROOKLYN MEMOIR
Orr Street Studios is located at 106 Orr St. in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Join us the third Tuesday evening of each month during the academic year for literary readings and visual-arts presentations.