Dana Donald Dlott was born in Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 1952 to Joseph and Eleanore Dlott. Joseph was a scrap iron dealer and Eleanore a housewife and mother of four. In 1955, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he attended Jefferson Elementary School. In 1964 they moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he attended Northview Junior High and North Central High School. In high school, Dlott’s main ambition was to get out of Indiana. In his senior year of high school, Dlott's father died at the young age of 53. Fortunately Dlott was able to finance his exit from Indiana by obtaining an academic scholarship to Columbia University. At Columbia he majored in chemistry and was particularly attracted to physical chemistry. He did undergraduate research with the late Prof. Richard Bersohn in the field of protein dynamics. He helped invent a new way of testing for the unsaturated iron-binding capacity in human blood which has never been used since. He was a member of the chess team which won the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament. He supported himself with part-time jobs, sometimes working three jobs simultaneously. On weekdays, he was a gofer in the School of Fine Arts and a laboratory technician. On weekends he directed chess tournaments. In 1974 he entered Stanford University and he received his Ph.D. under the direction of Prof. Michael D. Fayer. This began a close relationship and productive collaboration which has lasted more than thirty years. At Stanford, he was exposed to the latest in ultrafast laser technology in the laboratory of Prof. Anthony Siegman. For his thesis project, he built a high repetition rate tunable picosecond laser system and used picosecond transient grating spectroscopy to measure the rates of electronic energy transfer in molecular crystals. After graduation in 1979, he took a faculty position at the University of Illinois and he is currently William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor of Chemistry. At Illinois, his research first centered on the vibrational dynamics of molecular crystals. With time, his research program broadened to include laser materials interactions, biophysics, shock waves and energetic materials, as described in further detail on other pages. Besides his work in fundamental physical chemistry, including over 260 research publications, he is particularly proud of his contributions of fundamental significance in the field of high resolution imaging, for which he received awards from the Society of Imaging Science and Technology. He currently lives in Champaign, IL, with his wife Maria, and his son David.