Bo Ji • Staff Scientist

Bo Ji, Ph.D., earned her doctoral degree in genetics and genomics and a master’s in statistics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her thesis research integrated large-scale genomic and metabolic data. She conducted postdoctoral research at The Jackson Laboratory with Gregory Carter, Ph.D., applying statistical genomics tools to analyze cancer genomes and meiotic recombination. In 2017, she moved to her current position as a bioinformatics staff scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, investigating the genetics of type 1 diabetes.


What was the most beneficial aspect of your postdoc for your future career?
The opportunities to make connections across different areas of science (eg., seminars, short courses, postdoc lunch with faculty candidates and invited speakers, etc.) helped me expand my scientific knowledge and skills and gain flexibility to move between fields.

What postdoc skills are most helpful in your current job?
Analytical skills, including analytical thinking and hands-on problem solving skills. 

What do you wish you had spent more time doing when you were a postdoc?
I wish I could spend more time improving soft skills (communication skills). 

Were there any particular advantages at JAX that have helped you in your career?
Postdocs at JAX receive LOTS of attention regarding personal and career development from the institute, the postdoc program and PIs. 

What were you looking for when you were choosing a postdoc?
The reputation of the institute and the field of research.

Did you always know that you wanted to pursue your current career? Or when did you know it might be right for you?
I didn’t have a clear thought of my career path until after two years of my postdoc when I gained more experience in research. I knew what would be the best for me by having a better understanding of my interests and myself. 

What do you like best about your current job?
The job gives me flexibility and independence to work on the project that I am interested in. 

Do you ever wish you were still at the bench?
On very few occasions when I sat in front of my computer getting stuck with very complicated and challenging problems and being frustrated, I would imagine what it would be like if I were still at the bench. Then I would immediately be motivated for not doing bench-work anymore.