John Purdy earned an undergraduate degree from Pacific University and a Ph.D. from Penn State University College of Medicine. He performed his graduate studies in the biochemistry of assembly retroviral capsid in the laboratory of Drs. Rebecca Craven and John Flanagan. Afterwards he trained in metabolomics at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University while working in the laboratories of Drs. Joshua Rabinowitz and Thomas Shenk. He has been a member of the UA faculty since October 2015.