Ben grew up in rural Ohio and moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains to earn his B.S. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina Asheville. At UNC Asheville Ben worked with Prof. Herman Holt on the synthesis of heterocyclic analogs of the tubulin polymerization inhibitor combretastatin A-4. Ben then carried out his graduate studies at Northwestern University under the direction of Prof. Karl Scheidt. Ben’s graduate research focused on the total synthesis of flavonolignan natural products and the development of reverse polarity carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. After receiving his PhD in 2018, Ben joined the Swager lab as a Postdoctoral Associate.