THE OFFSPRING frontman Dexter Holland, an avid scholar with both his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Biology, has completed his dissertation and will graduate today (Thursday, May 11) with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California.
Holland began his studies before THE OFFSPRING achieved major commercial success with its third album, "Smash", in 1994. He eventually put his education aside to focus on his music career but asked the prestigious L.A. university five years ago if he could return and received the go-ahead.
"You might ask, why are you getting a Ph.D.?" Holland writes in a statement on THE OFFSPRING's official web site. "Well, pick the correct answer from the choices below!
A) I was bored
B) I like suffering
C) I am interested in the molecular dynamics of HIV infection and of virus:host interactions in general
"No, the answer's not all three!... Actually, 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. To finish, I had to research and write a thesis, or dissertation, which is kind of like the biggest term paper you'll ever do (mine is about 175 pages).
"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. This terrible disease remains a worldwide epidemic — over 35 million people worldwide are currently infected and living with the HIV virus. Over one million people a year die from this disease.
"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.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.
"So, what does this all mean for the band? It means...the BAND IS BACK ON! Well, we never really stopped touring and making records, but we'll be doing a bunch of shows all around the world this year plus recording new stuff every chance we get. Look for new music by us out soon."
Dexter's thesis, "Discovery of Mature MicroRNASequences within the Protein-Coding Regions Of Global HIV-1 Genomes: Predictions Of Novel Mechanisms For Viral Infection And Pathogenicity", can be found at this location.