About Our Director

Jef BoekeJef Boeke, PhD, joined NYU Langone in January 2014 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was professor of molecular biology and genetics and founding director of the High Throughput Biology Center (HiT). Dr. Boeke served as a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1986.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Boeke is known for his fundamental genetic and biochemical work on mechanisms of transposition in higher cells and coined the term "retrotransposon.”

A retrotransposon is a type of “jumping gene,” which can move about the genome and is distantly related to the AIDS virus. His work in both yeast and human cells extends into genomics, systems, and chromatin biology, and he is currently leading a worldwide effort to design and construct the world's first synthetic yeast genome. A technology innovator, he also holds nine patents for his discoveries and has helped start three biotechnology companies.

The HiT Center he helped found at Johns Hopkins was the first interdisciplinary center at its Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, encompassing advanced core facilities, proteomics, DNA sequencing, microarray, and Chemcore, a robotics and compound screening unit.

Prior to Johns Hopkins, Dr. Boeke trained at Rockefeller University and did postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also an exceptional mentor, having helped train more than 75 pre- and postdoctoral fellows, who have gone on to prominent faculty positions and leadership roles in academic, private sector, and federal government research. In 2013, he was named Mentor of the Year by the Johns Hopkins Graduate Student Association.