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Office of Graduate Education Stanford Biosciences Office of Graduate Education

Jan Skotheim, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology

Jan Skotheim

Jan took a circuitous route to his current studies on the systems biology of cell cycle control. He received B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from MIT (’99) and completed a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge (’04). Jan became immersed in cell biology and genetics during his postdoctoral studies with Prof. Fred Cross and Prof Eric Siggia at the Rockefeller University. In 2008, he joined the faculty of the Stanford Biology department and set up a laboratory aiming to study problems in cell cycle control. More specifically, his laboratory focuses on understanding how cell growth and cell size are converted to biochemical signals triggering cell division.

As a mentor, Jan values developing intellectual diversity and harnessing it to tackle fundamental questions in biology. His interdisciplinary laboratory contains members trained in molecular cell biology, genetics, mathematics, engineering, and physics. Making progress on fundamental questions in biology requires teamwork with members of diverse intellectual and cultural backgrounds. Deep collaboration among team members requires lab members to learn and to respect the fundamentals of one another’s disciplines. Jan aims to support the intellectual growth of trainees through positive mentorship strategies and by building an enjoyable and fun work atmosphere that encourages good mental health.

In joining SoLID, Jan hopes to engage in mentorship relationships with a diverse group of biosciences graduate students. He can offer advice to students from diverse scientific backgrounds, students considering quantitative computational approaches, and students who are generally having a tough time with their thesis projects. Jan is also excited to have students reach out to him to discuss whatever is on their mind.

Students can email Jan directly at