Jonathan Hardy was born in Laramie, Wyoming. He obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He first worked as a technician in the laboratory of Stanley Falkow, who was awarded the National Medal of Science by Barack Obama in 2014. In Stanley's lab, Jonathan learned that science should be not only rewarding but also fun! Jonathan next got his Ph.D. in Mark Davis' lab at Stanford. Mark is a truly remarkable scientist who was the first person to truly understand the mechanics of antigen presentation. Jonathan also worked on Salmonella typhi with Bruce Stocker at Stanford. Then he was extremely fortunate to spend two years at UC Berkeley in the laboratory of Daniel Portnoy, who taught him all about Listeria, currently his main pathogen. Dan is not only a superb scientist but also an outstanding mentor. Then, Jonathan was truly blessed to work with Christopher Contag, who became his long-standing mentor and fostered his current career with incredible support on every level. Chris, who invented in vivo bioluminescence imaging, now runs the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering at Michigan State University.