Growing our world class team

We are recruiting the best and brightest in the scientific world to build our research teams in key areas, including cancer and regenerative medicine.

There are more than 60 principal investigators at The Jackson Laboratory who lead research teams in disease areas including cancer, reproductive biology, immunology, metabolic processes, neuroscience and the microbiome. Our scientists come from laboratories all over the world, and we continue to recruit top-notch researchers.

Here are the latest scientists to join our team.


JAX is researching all aspects of neurological function, from the brain to sensory input to muscle. Dysfunction of these systems leads to serious diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, addiction, blindness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and muscular dystrophy. Investigators are discovering the nuanced mechanisms that develop and maintain neural function, and how they can be disrupted in disease.

Catherine Cook Kaczorowski, Ph.D., a neuroscientist who works to identify early causative events that underlie cognitive deficits associated with normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease, has been appointed a Jackson Laboratory assistant professor. Kaczorowski’s research seeks to identify and understand how genetic factors and misregulated membrane proteins in the hippocampus of aging and AD mouse models alter hippocampal neuron excitability, functional connectivity of hippocampal neural networks, and memory.

Internationally recognized geneticist and muscle degeneration expert Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D., accepted joint faculty appointments at JAX and UConn Health in February. Lee, whose research focuses on muscular dystrophies and other muscle wasting conditions, will establish his laboratory at JAX Genomic Medicine. Lee comes to JAX from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and received the prestigious Ho-Am Prize in Medicine in 2013.

Kristen O’Connell, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has joined the Jackson Laboratory faculty as an assistant professor. O’Connell’s research program is focused on understanding the impact of diet, body weight and peripheral hormone signaling on neuronal excitability and plasticity in the hypothalamus and other brain regions associated with the regulation of food intake and body weight.

Computational biology

Our scientists in computational biology investigate the precise makeup of both mouse and human genomes and the similarities and differences important for translating preclinical research to clinical benefit. They are also analyzing the whole-genome structure, identifying gene networks and understanding gene expression and its regulation, constructing computational models from genomic data so that function and dysfunction can be predicted based on established patterns.

Genomics pioneer and bioinformatics expert Mark Adams, Ph.D., joined JAX as director of Microbial Genomic Services. Adams has an extensive background in industry, government, academic and nonprofit settings, where he has focused on applying genomic and bioinformatic approaches to biological research. He comes to JAX from the J. Craig Venter Institute, where he was professor and scientific director, assessing the genomic changes associated with microbial antibiotic resistance. In his new role, Adams will enhance JAX's large-scale microbiome initiatives.

Peter Robinson, M.D., formerly professor of medical genomics at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin's Institute of Medical Genetics and Human Genetics in Germany, has joined the faculty as a professor. He specializes in developing medical databases and other bioinformatics resources and algorithms for research and clinical applications.

Roeland Verhaak, Ph.D., has been appointed professor and associate director of computational biology at JAX. He was based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is a recognized leader in big data analysis, with a focus on brain cancer genomics.

Sheng Li, Ph.D., has joined the faculty as an assistant professor from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, where she was an instructor in bioinformatics. She studies cancer epigenome dynamics and their effect on cancer initiation and progression.

Computational systems biologist Mingyang Lu, Ph.D., has joined JAX as an assistant professor. He was most recently at Rice University (Texas), where he was a postdoc in the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

Stem cells and regenerative medicine

Stem cells may hold the key to breakthroughs in many of the Laboratory’s research areas, with particular emphasis focused on their role in cancer and aging.

Martin Pera, Ph.D., is a leading stem cell researcher, with associated interests in neuroscience and regenerative medicine. He comes to JAX from the University of Melbourne (Australia), where he is chair of stem cell sciences. He will join the Bar Harbor faculty as a professor, and will begin full time in January.

William Skarnes, Ph.D., an expert in stem cell engineering who began his career studying mouse developmental genetics, has been appointed director of cellular engineering at JAX Genomic Medicine. Skarnes was previously based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, England, where he led that organization's stem cell engineering team.

Cancer research

JAX is using the latest research methods and tools to investigate a variety of cancers, including breast, lung, brain, gastric and blood. JAX’s National Cancer Institute‑designated Cancer Center provides robust support for its innovative research program, which combines patient and experimental data with advanced genomic capabilities to better understand cancer and identify therapeutic targets. The goal is to provide oncologists with precise therapy options for each individual’s cancer.

Cancer researcher Olga Anczuków, Ph.D.,  studies RNA splicing in breast and ovary development and how changes in splicing can affect tumor initiation, metastasis and drug resistance. An Assistant Professor, she comes to JAX from the laboratory of Adrian Krainer, Ph.D., at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

Connecticut Children's Medical Center, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, and the UConn School of Medicine have made their first joint appointment: The distinguished pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher Ching C. Lau, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lau will serve as Professor at JAX, where he will specialize in pediatric brain and bone tumor research. He will also be the Medical Director of Hematology-Oncology at Connecticut Children's and Head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine.

JAX has named medical oncologist Jens Rueter, M.D., to the newly created position of medical director for the Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI), a partnership with community hospitals to help Maine cancer patients and their physicians access precision cancer care. Rueter comes to JAX from Eastern Maine Medical Center Cancer Care and will be based at The Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care of MaineGeneral Health in Augusta.

Gary Ren, Ph.D., has joined the JAX faculty as assistant professor. Ren investigates the role of the immune system in cancer metastasis and therapy resistance. He was an associate research scholar in the laboratory of Yibin Kang, Ph.D., at Princeton University.

Reproduction and development

Reproductive biology researchers at JAX have played pivotal roles in the field over the years. They developed media and methods that made new discoveries into gamete formation and early development possible, and helped lead to the development of in vitro fertilization and other clinical advances.

Christopher Baker, Ph.D., has been promoted to the JAX faculty as an assistant professor. Baker explores the genetic and molecular regulatory system controlling the location and rate of meiotic recombination, the process that generates new genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms.

Beth Dumont, Ph.D., who was a summer student at JAX in 2002, has accepted a position as assistant professor. Dumont studies variations in the cellular mechanisms of inheritance, including genetic recombination, chromosome segregation and de novo mutation. She comes to JAX after completing a distinguished postdoctoral research fellowship at North Carolina State University.