Short bio

My career, interests, hobbies, life

by Alejandro Ochoa García

I'm a well-rounded nerd


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Map of cities I've lived in or visited frequently.

I'm Alex Ochoa, and I was born in El Paso, although I was raised across the border, in Ciudad Juarez, where I lived continuously for 18 years, although I frequently visited my extended family in Pesquería throughout those years. I all but moved to Boston for college, for the following 4 years. Since then, I've become a resident of Princeton, where I went for graduate school for 7 years. Now I'm living in Pennsylvania.

MIT logo. Princeton University logo.

I got a double degree in biology and theoretical mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University. In undergrad I developed an interest in protein design working in Keating lab, and in graduate school I became passionate with improving protein domain predictions and particularly in improving annotations in the malaria parasite P. falciparum, coadvised in the Singh lab and Llinás lab. I'm currently a postdoc in the Storey lab working on statistics and population structure. I also have broad interests in molecular and computational biology, mathematics, and really science in general. You can see my full CV here.

Perl logo.

I taught myself how to program in Java from a book during undergrad. I picked up Perl while I was in the Keating lab, but I remained an amateur programmer. I also started programming for my personal website, which I still maintain. However, I've become an efficient programmer during grad school, having frequently processed large datasets that require careful processing and memory optimizations. I've juiced Perl to be often as efficient as lower-level languages, and have even written C code that interacts with Perl via Inline::C. In my postdoc R has become my main language, although I'm still using Perl sometimes.

Big Dumb Rock Show poster.

I have many hobbies besides my personal website, in which I frequently author articles and my photo collection. I have a passion for music. I've been playing guitar since middle school, and have been writing music since. Fast forward to graduate school, where I co-founded the cover band Big Dumb Rock Show with Raja Chahal and Chris Doucette, and together with other Princeton grad students played frequently for several years in the DBar, and on ocasion at the MolBio Retreat, Alchemist and Barrister, Campus Club, and Butler College. I also have broad interest in languages (fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in French, and I know many words and properties of many more), translation (most of my website is in both English and Spanish, and partly in French), drawing (by hand and digitally), and in cinematography. You can see short films I've been a part of with my brother and MolBio skits.

I met my soulmate in graduate school, married her in the beautiful beaches of Tulum, and we have two beautiful children and three cats together.