Paula Yurkanis Bruice was raised primarily in Massachusetts. After graduating from the Girls' Latin School in Boston, she earned an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Virginia. She then received an NIH postdoctoral fellowship for study in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Virginia Medical School and held a postdoctoral appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale Medical School. Paula has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 1972, where she has received the Associated Students Teacher of the Year Award, the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, two Mortar Board Professor of the Year Awards, and the UCSB Alumni Association Teaching Award. Her research interests center on the mechanism and catalysis of organic reactions, particularly those of biological significance. Paula has a daughter and a son who are physicians and a son who is a lawyer. Her main hobbies are reading mystery and suspense novels and enjoying her pets (two dogs, two cats, and a parrot).