AB, Amherst College, 1973. Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, 1978. Doctor of Science (honorary), Amhert College, 1996.
Postdoctoral fellow Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1978-1981. Assistant professor biochemistry Columbia University, New York City, 1981-1985, associate professor, 1985-1986, professor, 1986—1990, Higgins professor biochemistry and molecular biophysics, since 1990. Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute, since 1993.
Member National Institutes of Health study section, 1984-1988, virology science advisory board Progenics Pharmaceuticals, since 1988, chairman since 1991.
Fellow American Academy Arts Sciences, American Academy Microbiol. Member National Academy of Sciences.
Married Marian B. Carlson, October 15, 1977. Children: Sarah Carlson Goff, Thomas Carlson Goff.