Professor Sasselov is a professor of astronomy at Harvard. He is the Director of the Origins of Life Initiative
, a new interdisciplinary institute that joins biologists, chemists, planetary scientists and astronomers in searching for the starting points of life on Earth (and possibly elsewhere). He is also a co-investigator on NASA's Kepler mission, searching for exoplanets the size of Earth. Dr. Sasselov is an astronomer who explores the interaction between light and matter to study stars and their planets. What is an astronomer doing looking for the origins of life? Sasselov suggests that planetary conditions are the seedbed of life. Knowing the composition and conditions of a planet will give us clues, perhaps, as to how life might form there. He hopes to use those clues to search for life on exoplanets.