Jonathon (Joe) Howard is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, a Professor of Physics, and a member of the Quantitative Biology Institute at Yale University. He is a biophysicist interested in how motor proteins and the cytoskeleton shape and move cells. He uses optical and mechanical techniques to study the behavior of individual molecules, and uses theory and computation to understand how molecular interactions give rise to coordinated, collective behavior at the cell level. After studying mathematics (B.Sc.) and neurobiology (Ph.D.) at the Australian National University in Canberra, he has moved around geographically—Bristol, San Francisco, Seattle, Heidelberg, Dresden, New Haven—where he has pursued a diverse range of scientific interests including vision, audition, intracellular transport, mitosis, cell motility, embryonic development and neuronal morphogenesis.