Francisco J. Ayala is a pioneering geneticist and evolutionary biologist who has vigorously opposed the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two domains. The winner of the 2010 Templeton Prize and the 2001 U.S. National Medal of Science, he is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he also holds appointments as professor of philosophy and professor of logic and the philosophy of science. Dr. Ayala's groundbreaking research on parasitic protozoa has opened up new approaches to the prevention and treatment of tropical diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people. Most recently, his discovery of the origin of the parasite that causes malignant malaria in humans has attracted world-wide attention because of the potential that the knowledge gained may one-day lead to a vaccine. He revolutionized evolutionary theory when he was among the first to use molecular biology in the investigation of evolutionary processes. His work not only led to new discoveries but also to a new understanding of the origin of the species, the pervasiveness of genetic diversity, the genetic structure of populations, and rates of evolution. Early in his career, he used novel experimental methods to investigate population ecology, which allowed him to resolve outstanding contradictions between theory and experience and explain population dynamics as the conjunction of genetic and environmental factors. Born in Madrid, Dr. Ayala received his baccalaureate degree in physics from the University of Madrid and then went on to study theology at the Pontifical Faculty of San Esteban in Salamanca. He was ordained a Dominican priest in 1960, but chose to leave the priesthood to study genetics with the Ukrainian-born scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky at Columbia University, where he earned a Ph.D. in genetics in 1964. After post-doctoral research at The Rockefeller University, he was appointed an assistant professor of biology at Providence College in Rhode Island and, in 1968, assistant professor at Rockefeller University. In 1971, the year he became an American citizen, he was named an associate professor of genetics, at the University of California, Davis. He was promoted to professor in 1974, a post he held until 1987, when he joined the UCI faculty as Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences. He was named to the Bren chair in 1989 and subsequently to his other UCI academic positions. In 1981, he served as an expert witness in a federal case that overturned an Arkansas law mandating the teaching of creationism alongside evolution, and he has continued to work to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools. He was the principal author of Science, Evolution, and Creationism (1984) for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Dr. Ayala was a member of the (U.S.) Presidents Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology from 1994 to 2001 and has served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Sigma Xi, and the Society for the Study of Evolution. He is a fellow of NAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Linnean Society of London, as well as a member of the Brussels-based Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei (ANL) in Rome, the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the Latin American Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His many honors, in addition to the Templeton Prize and the National Medal of Science, include the Gold Honorary Gregor Mendel Medal awarded by the Czech Academy of Sciences, gold medals presented by the ANL and the Stazione Zoologica of Naples, the Presidents Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award and its 150th Anniversary Leadership Medal, the W.E. Key Award of the American Genetics Association, the Medal of the College of France, the UCI Medal, and Sigma Xi's William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, in addition to several awards for distinguished teaching. He has been awarded twenty honorary degrees from universities in Argentina, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United States. The author of some 1,000 papers published in scientific journals, Dr. Ayala is the editor or co-editor of fourteen volumes, including (with Theodosius Dobzhansky) Studies in the Philosophy of Biology (1974), a foundational volume in the then new discipline, and the author or co-author of twenty-five other books, including, most recently, Darwin and Intelligent Design (2006) and Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion (2007), companion volumes that provide a primarily religious audience, in the first case, and a general audience, in the second case, introductions to the development of evolutionary biology, which stress that belief in science and religious belief need not be in contradiction since they play different roles in human understanding. His latest book, Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution, published last year by The Johns Hopkins University Press, seeks to explain major concepts in evolution and address misconceptions while arguing that matters of value and meaning are outside the scope of scientific investigation. His books have been translated into numerous languages: from Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian; to Russian, Polish and Bulgarian; to Chinese, Japanese, Bengali, Turkish, Basque, and others. Dr. Ayala is a vintner who maintains a 2,400 acre vineyard in California that supplies grapes to major wineries.