This is an interview with Peter Basser, Principal Investigator at NIH and Section Chief of the Laboratory on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Basser recounts his childhood in Long Island as the child of Austrian-Jewish immigrants. He describes his undergraduate education at Harvard and how he became interested in biology from a physics perspective. He describes his decision to stay on for graduate research where he worked on fluid dynamics in the lab of Tom McMahon. Basser discusses his postgraduate work on medical devices at Hewlett-Packard, and he describes the opportunities that led to his work at the NIH. He describes the research over the course of his tenure in magnetic stimulation and the flow of currents through nerve membranes. Basser discusses his move to NICHHD and the new opportunities becoming a Principal Investigator offered. He explains his long-range work on tensor imaging and anisotropic diffusion in brain tissue and the growing capacity to image tissue in stroke patients. Basser discusses his work in biomimetics and he explains his dual motivations in furthering both basic science and translational research that has clinical value. He explains the unique collaborative opportunities the NIH affords to work with medical doctors. At the end of the interview, Basser emphasizes the importance of continuum mechanics as a scientific concept that informs all aspects of his work, and he explains why he is excited in the future about new opportunities to study subcellular objects with NMR and other techniques.