A few months back, my friend Lisa Klug introduced me to the illimitable joy that is Mayim Bialik. Descendant of the poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, neuroscientist, and former child star, she’s going through a whole revolution now. With the birth of her second child and the emergence of her interest in Orthodox Judaism, she’s wild and thoughtful and funny. (She’s also doing a G-dcast, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for that.)
And, oh yeah, she starred in Blossom.
What first motivated you to start researching the causes of Prader-Willi Syndrome? Are you still?
I always had an interest in working with kids with special needs, and in the neuroscience department at UCLA, you generally meet a lot of professors and then drop into a project that suits you. There’s been a lot of genetic research on Prader-Willi, and there’s been a lot of behavioral research, but there isn’t a lot of research combining the two..and that’s what I thought I could bring to it.
I got my doctorate last year, so my research was my thesis. Since then, I’ve done some writing for organizations that raise money for Prader-Willi research. In the meantime, I’ve started acting again, and we just had our second child, so I’ve had my hands pretty full, taking care of him and doing auditions.
Have you been auditioning a lot?
Yes, actually! Far more than I thought I would be. I’m auditioning for all sorts of things. I’m actually filming an episode of Bones tomorrow. I’ve auditioned for comedy, drama, movies — anything they send my way.