Boxun Zhao, PHd


Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD in Genetics, Peking Union Medical College, Tsinghua University

Boxun joined the lab in August 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow after a one-year postdoctoral training at Meng-Qiu Dong’s lab in National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing, China. He obtained his PhD in Genetics in 2017 from Peking Union Medical College at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. During his doctoral research at Liping Wei’s laboratories in NIBS and Peking University from 2012 to 2017, he devoted himself to the fascinating study of transposable elements (TEs), particularly somatic insertions in the human brain and neurological disorders. He developed a novel experimental protocol and established a bioinformatics pipeline to profile genome-wide germline and somatic TE insertions from bulk tissue samples without expensive single-cell DNA sequencing. He was also involved in projects investigating somatic point mutations in Autism and healthy human genomes, and validating large structural variations that are undetectable by typical short-read sequencing platforms. His strong background in human transposon elements and talents in experimental and computational work give him a solid foundation to pursue his long-term goal—understanding the importance and functional impact of TE insertions in human diseases; and translating scientific discoveries into therapeutics to cure diseases caused by transposon insertion.

Boxun was awarded the Pilot Project Award by the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research in 2018.