As a UCLA undergraduate pursuing his bachelor of science in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, Farmer became the first in his family to attend college, an example followed by his two younger brothers. Farmer then did a one-year post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
As a PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he joined the laboratory of Michael McManus, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco, where he studied the role of molecules called microRNAs in the development of the lacrimal glands that produce tears and lubricate the eyes.
As the inaugural Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow in the Crump Lab, Farmer is looking forward to shifting his focus to craniofacial and skeletal development. He is contributing to the effort to understand a serious birth defect known as craniosynostosis, which can constrict and damage the developing brain due to the premature fusion of joints in the skull called sutures.