Dr. Steve Miller, a 38-year old biomedical researcher, is struggling for tenure, a cure for manic-depressive bipolar disorder, and balance in his life- not necessarily in that order. Confronted with difficult odds, Steve is fighting for his scientific career, surrounded by an eccentric and often comical cast of researchers in his laboratory, department and institute. Despite his almost obsessive preoccupation with tenure and securing his position, Steve is inevitably plunged back in time to his traumatic childhood with a father suffering from bipolar disorder, a largely absentee mother, and a loving but dominant grandfather. As Steve realizes that he cannot escape his childhood memories, his past catches up with the present and merges in an unexpected and breath-stopping finish. Matter Over Mind is a multi-layered story that gives an in-depth but humorous view of academic scientists who are at the forefront of biomedical research. However, Matter Over Mind goes far beyond a typical glimpse behind the scenes at an academic institution- it describes the traumatic childhood and family dysfunction resulting from a parent with debilitating bipolar syndrome (formerly known as manic depressive disorder). Although this mental illness has been often ignored and treated as a rare affliction, in actuality it has been the cause of numerous broken families and its presentation has been a source for a multitude of psychologically impacted family members. In this fascinating novel, Steve Caplan has intricately interwoven the manifestations of bipolar syndrome into a clever plot set in a present day scientific institution. Spiced with humor and wit, the novel examines the impact of one's past on his present predicament and the degree to which people are in control of their own destinies.
Dr. Steve Caplan was born in the US, spent his childhood in Canada and moved to Israel in 1983. He received a Bachelor of Science degree and both masters and doctoral degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1998, he moved to Rockville, Maryland, where he pursued post-doctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Caplan is currently a principal investigator and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. He has won a number of prestigious awards for his research and mentorship and his laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Caplan teaches graduate and medical students, and mentors his own group of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. He is the author of numerous peer reviewed scientific papers, as well as several published short stories. His first novel, Matter Over Mind, received positive reviews and was a quarterfinalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Welcome Home, Sir is his second novel. His third novel,"A DEGREE OF BETRAYAL," an academic murder mystery has been well received and recently published by Big Table Publishing Company.