Bao Thai

Graduate School
College of Medicine – Tucson
Year Entered Program: 
Degrees Received: 
  • BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology, UC Berkeley, May 2016
Thesis Advisor: 
Deepta Bhattacharya, PhD
About Me: 

I grew up in Vietnam until the age of 14 when my family moved to the bay area in California. I attended UC Berkeley and studied biology. My personal diagnosis with a genetic defect in a copper transporter fueled my interest to pursue a career in medical research. My undergraduate research in Dr. Christopher Chang's lab focused on copper channels in zebrafish. After graduation, I moved across the bay and worked as a research associate in Dr. Stephen Floor's lab at UCSF studying DDX3 role in translation. For my PhD, I recently joined Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya's lab to study stem cell to B cell development. 

Moving to Arizona was a big change for me, but the community of students and faculty here at COM-Tucson has been so welcoming. I feel at home and have found groups of amazing and supportive friends and mentors who I can rely on. On another note, COM-Tucson offers amazing opportunities to immerse myself in a great line of healthcare community service activities. I have been working with the Shubitz free family care clinic every month and have the opportunity to practice my medical interview and physical exam skills with experienced third and fourth year medical students. In my first year of medical school, I got to travel to Mexico with MexZona, a non-profit organization that offers monthly free family care to the community of Rocky Point, Mexico. Our group consisted of medical students, undergraduates, physicians, nurses and pharmacists served over 100 patients that day. It was honestly the most rewarding medical experience I have ever had. 

On my free time, I watch a lot of TV shows and movies, especially anything horror-related. The food scene here in Tucson has surprised me everytime because of how good everything has been. Please reach out if you need recommendations! Ramen, curry katsu, KBBQ , pho, indian food... you name it! 

Honors & Awards: 
  • High Distinction in General Scholarship at Graduation, UC Berkeley
  • Honors Rolls in 2014, 2015, and 2016, College of Letters and Science, UC Berkeley
  • MD-PhD Recruitment Committee (2022-2023)
  • Joint Biology Research Retreat Committee (2021-2022)
  • MD-PhD Student Progress Committee (2021-2022)
  • Medical Research Student Association (MSAR) - Co-director (2019-2020) 
  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) - Treasurer (2019-2020)
Selected Publications: 
  1. Calviello, L., Venkataramanan, S., Rogowski, K., Wyler, E., Tejura, M., Thai, B., Krol, J., Filipowicz, W., Landthaler, M., Floor, S. DDX3 depletion selectively represses translation of structured mRNAs with complex 5’ UTR. Nucleic Acid Research. 49, 5336-5350 (2019).
  2. Thai, B., Floor, S. Move over, genomes: Here comes transcriptome engineering. The CRISPR Journal. 1, 216-217 (2018).
  3. Xiao, T., Ackerman, C., Carroll, E. C., Jia, S., Hoagland, A., Chan, J., Thai, B., Liu, C. S., Isacoff, E. Y., Chang, C. J. Copper regulates rest-activity cycles through the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system. Nat. Chem. Biol. 14, 655-663 (2018). 
  4. Ackerman, C., Weber P., Xiao, T., Thai, B., Kuo, T., Zhang, E., Pett-Ridge, J., Chang, C. J. Multimodal LA-ICP-MS and nanoSIMS imaging enables copper mapping within photoreceptor megamitochondria in a zebrafish model of Menkes disease. Metallomics. 10, 474-485 (2018). 
  1. Thai, B., Bhattacharya, D. Engineering stem cells for durable immunity. Joint Biology Research Retreat, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; April 2022 [Poster and Abstract]
  2. Thai, B., Bhattacharya, D. Overcoming barriers in B cell differentiation. 17th Annual Frontiers in Immunobiology & Immunopathogenesis Symposium 2022, Tucson, AZ; March 2022 [Poster and Abstract]
  3. Bedrossian, R., Fisher, J., Weltzer, R., Briggs, R., Ressel, A., Khachatryan, M, Matthews, J., Thai, B., Tung, J., Grandner, M., Patterson, F., Connick, E. Poor sleep is linked to CVD risk in PLWH in a Southerwestern US clinic. Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Virtual Conference; February 2022 [Abstract] 
  4. Thai, B., Ackerman, C., Chang, C. J. Characterization of the human copper transporter hCTR1. College of Chemistry's Annual Undergraduate Research Fair, UC Berkeley, CA; April 2016 [Poster]
  5. Thai, B., Ackerman, C., Chang, C. J. Analyzing metal distribution in zebrafish embryos. College of Chemistry's Annual Undergraduate Research Fair, UC Berkeley, CA; April 2015 [Poster]
Oral Presentations
  1. Thai, B., Bhattacharya, D. Engineering stem cells for durable immunity. Research Day, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; May 2022.
  2. Thai, B., Bhattacharya, D. Identification of barriers in B cell differentiation. Department of Immunobiology's Trainee Seminar, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; April 2022.