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The Offspring’s Dexter Holland received PhD in Molecular Biology

May 11, 2017 :: 01:46 PM EDT

Have you wondered what The Offspring’s frontman Dexter Holland has been up to lately? Well, in case you were worried, he just received a PhD in Molecular Biology. Dexter shared to his fans the following letter on the band’s official site:

Hey everybody,

Dexter here. Well we’re gearing up for another busy year touring (and recording), and I can’t wait. In fact I’m actually writing this from our tour stop in Charlotte, NC before our show here this weekend. I know I haven’t posted much for awhile – cause I’ve been busy!

This is sort of an announcement that I completed my dissertation defense and that means that I’ll be graduating on May 11 with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California.

You might ask, why are you getting a Ph.D.? 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 andAIDS.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.

See you on the road! Dexter.

His 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 seen here.