Short bio

My career, interests, hobbies, life

by Alejandro Ochoa García

I'm a well-rounded nerd


en-us es-mx -

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

I'm Alex Ochoa. I was born in El Paso, TX, and was raised across the border, in Ciudad Juarez, CHIH, Mexico, where I lived continuously for 18 years. Back then, I frequently visited my extended family in Pesquería, NL, Mexico. I all but moved to Boston, MA for college for 4 years. Then I became a resident of Princeton, NJ, where I went for graduate school for 7 years. During my 5-year postdoc I mostly lived in West Chester, PA. In my time at Princeton I visited New Hampton, NH often for holidays. Now I'm living near Durham, NC.

Logo: Duke University Logo: Princeton University Logo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke University. My research group, the Ochoa Lab, is part of the Center for Statistical Genetics and Genomics at Duke. I got a double degree in biology and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University. In undergrad I worked on protein design in the Keating lab. In graduate school I improved protein domain predictions, focusing on the malaria parasite P. falciparum, coadvised in the Singh lab and Llinás lab. I did a postdoc in the Storey lab working on statistics and population structure. I have broad interests in molecular, computational, and statistical biology, mathematics, and science in general. See my full CV here.

Perl logo. R 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. I also started programming for my personal website, which I still maintain. I became an efficient programmer during grad school, dealing with large datasets that required careful processing and memory optimizations. To that end, I wrote C code that interacts with Perl via Inline::C. In my postdoc R has become my main language, which I complement with C and Perl.

Big Dumb Rock Show poster.

I have a passion for music. I've been playing guitar since middle school, and have been writing music since. During graduate school I co-founded the cover band Big Dumb Rock Show with Raja Chahal and Chris Doucette, and together with other Princeton grad students played at the DBar and other local venues. I also love languages (fluent in English and Spanish, conversational in French, learning Nahuatl), photography, and 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, we married in the beautiful beaches of Tulum, QR, Mexico, and we have two beautiful children.