Bao Quoc Thai

MD/PhD student

Bao grew up in Vietnam up until he was 14 when his family moved to the Bay area in California. He attended UC Berkeley and did his undergraduate research in Dr. Christopher Chang's lab studying copper biology in biological systems. After graduation,  he moved across the bay and worked as a research associate in Dr. Stephen Floor's lab at UCSF studying mRNAs. There, he had his first experience working with gene editing and stem cells, which he intended to study for his PhD in Dr. Bhattacharya's lab. 

Moving to Arizona was a big change for him, but the community of students and faculty here at the UofA MD-PhD program has been so welcoming. He feels at home and has found groups of amazing and supportive friends and mentors who he can rely on. Over the past year on the medical school side, he had amazing opportunities to immerse himself in a great line of healthcare community service activities. He has been working with the Shubitz free family care clinic every month and has the opportunity to practice his medical interview and physical exam skills with experienced third and fourth year medical students. Recently he even got to travel to Mexico with MexZona, a non-profit organization that offers monthly free family care to the community of Rocky Point, Mexico. Their group consisted of medical students, undergraduates, physicians, nurses and pharmacists served over 100 patients that day. It was honestly the most rewarding medical experience he has ever had. He is excited to start his PhD journey and is looking forward to a lot of pipetting! 

In his free time (surprisingly he still manages to have free time thus far), he watches a lot of TV shows and movies, especially anything horror-related. The food scene here in Tucson has surprised him every time because of how good everything has been. Please reach out if you need recommendations! Ramen, curry katsu, KBBQ , pho, indian food... you name it!


  • BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2016

Recent Publications


Xiao, T., C. M. Ackerman, E. C. Carroll, S. Jia, A. Hoagland, J. Chan, B. Thai, C. S. Liu, E. Y. Isacoff, and C. J. Chang, "Copper regulates rest-activity cycles through the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system.", Nat Chem Biol, vol. 14, issue 7, pp. 655-663, 2018 07. PMCID: PMC6008210  PMID: 29867144
Thai, B., and S. N. Floor, "Move Over, Genomes: Here Comes Transcriptome Engineering.", CRISPR J, vol. 1, pp. 126-127, 2018 04. PMID: 31021197