John Soukar

John Soukar

Undergraduate Institution: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fields of Interest:

Medical Genetics- Human and Animal

Microbial Genetics

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics?

During my two years as a laboratory technician post undergrad, I did a wide breadth of work regarding antimicrobial nanoparticles and microbial communication. We only barely touched the surface of microbial genetics with MicroArrays and RNA sequencing and I saw its power for uncovering some of the mechanisms we observe. I knew I wanted to study genetics when we uncovered uridine biosynthesis pathway proteins that corroborate some of our other findings. It was an incredibly powerful tool that was very cool to use.

Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?

I specifically sought out the Genetics Program at Texas A&M because of the certificate programs they encourage their students to take. The genetics program specifically caught my eye because of its interdisciplinary nature, as a lab tech I worked with graduate students in engineering in my biological laboratory; seeing this, interdisciplinary work really provides for strong translational research. Texas A&M has incredible resources and strong ties to space related research, I will be able to network with individuals with ties to aerospace research and NASA, a career path I hope to pursue post graduation.

If you were free to choose anything, what research question/topic would you like to address for your graduate studies?

Without a doubt it would be aerospace biology. Anything that can bridge the gap between space and biology, whether that’s human genetics in space or the possibilities of life surviving in space or another planet.

Fun Facts:

What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?

Dream job would be an astronaut and be a scientist on the space station, moon, or even Mars.

Favorite place you have travelled to.

Greece! I went back in 2015 and was able to go to some of the Greek Islands as well.