Faculty Profile - Wally Novak

by Tom Runge

November 15, 2012

Name: Wally Novak

Your background: I grew up all over the Eastern half of the U.S. My father (also named Wally) worked for Digital Equipment Corporation and was transferred every few years. We last settled near St. Louis, where I graduated High School, joined the Army National Guard and eventually graduated from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. I headed to the University of California, San Francisco to earn my Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the lab of Dr. Patsy Babbitt. It was at UCSF that I also met my wife, Kathleen. We moved to Boston where I was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Greg Petsko and Dagmar Ringe. We had three children in Boston: James, Kate and Carrie. We moved to Crawfordsville in the summer of 2009, just two blocks from campus. My wife currently works as a Pharmacist at Seton Specialty Hospital in Indianapolis, and our kids are active in the community with soccer, scouts and swimming to name only a few of their many interests!

Department and specialty at Wabash: Chemistry and Biochemistry. I am a biochemist by training and focus on transcriptional regulator proteins in pathogenic bacteria.

Favorite part of Wabash: What drew me to Wabash initially was the engagement level of the students, and that is what motivates me still today.

Favorite place on the campus: I love having coffee in the little garden area behind Caleb Mills, but spending time working on my research in the lab really energizes me.

Favorite food: It would have to be the occasional BLT with fries I treat myself to at the Scarlet Inn.

Something most people don’t know about you: My wife and I are huge fans of the Survivor TV show. That show is currently in its 25th season (two seasons per year), and I think we managed to miss only one season during that time.


Wabash College • P.O. Box 352 • Crawfordsville, IN 47933 • 765.361.6100