Many years ago, Dexter Holland of The Offspring put his Ph.D. on hold because, well, he just wanted to rock.

We guess some may think all of that studiousness is so not punk, too. Which would, of course, be utter bollocks.

Anyway, the lead singer and guitarist never lost sight of his goal, completing a 175-page thesis to gain his Ph.D. in molecular biology. The title of his work? Discovery of Mature MicroRNA Sequences within the Protein-Coding Regions of Global HIV-1 Genomes: Predictions of Novel Mechanisms for Viral Infection and Pathogenicity. Whoa! That’s a LONG way from “Give it to me baby, uh-huh, uh-huh”. We wonder if he could put it to music?

Seriously though, he’s doing great work, and it’s refreshing to see somebody ably dispelling the “dumb punk” reputation, usually perpetuated by dumb non-punks.

Naturally, Holland isn’t the first muso to have a brain. Queen’s Brian May is an astrophysicist (how else could he get his hair to defy gravity like that?), Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin has a Ph.D. in zoology, Ladytron’s Mira Aroyo has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics (from Oxford, no less) and then, of course, there’s Professor Brian Cox, who used to fidget with keyboards in Things Can Only Get Better hitsters D:Ream.

Holland graduated from the University of Southern California last Thursday. So is his music career over? No! He and the rest of The Offspring continue their current tour on May 13. Respect!

Get up to date with The Offspring at JB Hi-Fi.