Joseph Meier

Humanities and Sciences


Joseph Meier received undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics at Kalamazoo College. Then, Meier was awarded the first Elder Scholarship, allowing him to study gorgonians in the Cayman Islands. At UC San Diego, he began his initial graduate studies in cosmochemistry. While taking classes at UC San Diego Medical School, he became fascinated with the microbiology of Borrelia hermsii, the cause of relapsing fever in humans. He transferred to Caltech, where his work on Borrelia at the Rocky Mountain National Laboratory culminated in the discovery of a novel prokaryotic gene regulation mechanism. He received his PhD in Molecular Genetics in 1993. His problem-solving abilities led him to work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Johnson Space Center. After teaching at ArtCenter in 2000-2001, he became CTO at a visual effects company, returning to ArtCenter in 2018. Dr. Meier has a US patent for a DNA sequencing system and is currently designing other biotechnology equipment. Meier's personal interest in art and science is expressed in his enthusiasm for the Arts and Crafts movement, especially California plein air painters.


  • HSCI-217-01: Light & Color
  • HSCI-260-01: Pattern Formation in Nature