Order of Friars Minor Franciscans of Canada

Joachim Ostermann, OFM
Joachim Ostermann, OFM

Born 1961 in Germany. Ate, drank, and was merry. Began to study chemistry in 1980. Eventually graduated from the University of Munich with a PhD in biochemistry in 1990. My research question was how the proteins that allow mitochondria to function come together. It is a bit like molecular origami, and I was part of a team that discovered a rather important new component in this process. It made quite a splash, and I enjoyed the recognition that I got. Then I moved to the US to be a research fellow at the Sloan Kettering Institute. Another splash, and in 1994, I came to Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry. My research field was cell biology, and specifically, the way proteins are moving back and forth between the cellular interior and the extracellular matrix. Things went back and forth in more ways than one, and in the end, I found myself working at a biotechnology company in Canada. The details of these transitions now provide comic relief in my story telling!

After meeting my one remaining worldly ambition—financial independence—I ended up giving just this away so that I could live life in the poverty of a Franciscan friar. I professed first vows in 2009, solemn vows in 2013, and I was ordained a priest in 2014. I belong to the Western Canadian Province of the Order of Friars Minor. Now my interests are faith and science, especially in as much as it is about Christian faith and the physical sciences and the way they challenge and support each other. I joyfully do my share of pastoral ministry, but my Franciscan brothers seem to think that I ought to try and tie together the various threads of my intellectual life. When I fail at this, I enjoy bike rides across Vancouver Island.

New blog posts are added weekly, usually on a Saturday.

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