James R. Valcourt

Hertz Fellow: James R. Valcourt

Harvard University

Area of Study

Molecular Biology/Quantitative & Computational Biology

Fellowship Years

2012 - present

James Valcourt (Jim) is a student in the Systems Biology PhD program at Harvard University. He has recently joined Sharad Ramanathan’s lab, where he plans to study aging and the timescales of early cellular differentiation.

Jim graduated from Princeton University in 2012 with an AB in molecular biology and a certificate in quantitative and computational biology. At Princeton, he received the Pyne Prize, the highest general distinction given to an undergraduate. He spent his college years researching quiescence, post-transcriptional regulation, human population genetics, and the best ways to belittle Yale in the pages of a college humor magazine. His thesis, with Professor Hillary Coller, explored a possible novel mechanism of cross-talk in post-transcriptional regulation between RNA-binding proteins and microRNA.

After college, Jim decided to temporarily postpone the glamorous life of a graduate student to do research for two years at D.E. Shaw Research (DESRES) in New York City. At DESRES, he studied GPCR allostery and broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies using long-timescale computational molecular dynamics simulations on custom-built hardware.

In his free time, James enjoys science writing, backpacking, and preparing short summaries of his accomplishments.