Jonathan Marquez was born in Houston to parents who migrated there from Mexico and Colombia. As a child, Jonathan saw his family navigate economic, language, and cultural barriers and learned a great deal about perseverance from his family’s example.
Despite a lack of financial means, Jonathan was able to attend Yale University where he arrived with a suitcase that contained everything he owned, having never stepped foot on a university campus before. After falling in love with biology, Jonathan majored in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. He conducted research in the lab of Martín García-Castro, studying neural crest cells that play a role in the early development of a variety of tissues.
Inspired to pursue clinical and research training to address pediatric diseases though developmental biology and genetics, Jonathan joined the MD/PhD program at Yale. His current research in Mustafa Khokha’s Lab is part of the Pediatric Genomics Discovery Program that works with young patients suffering from unknown diseases to investigate a potential genetic cause of each of their mysterious conditions and model these to understand underlying developmental mechanisms. Jonathan hopes to promote similar approaches throughout his career and ensure that they are integrated into pediatric care through equitable innovations in genetic testing, counseling, and treatment.