Adam Hockenberry

Graduate Student

Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences (IBiS) Program
2205 Tech Drive (Room 2-108)
EvanstonIL 60208US


Originally from Pennsylvania, I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology at Temple University while taking an interdisciplinary course load in the physical and life sciences. My first exposure to academic research occurred in the lab of Dr. Edward Gruberg with whom I completed a summer research project studying the frog visual system, specifically: the ability to perceive stationary objects.

Upon graduation, I proceeded to work for two years as a lab technician in the Molecular Neuroengineering lab of Dr. David Meaney at the University of Pennsylvania. During this time I worked on a variety of experimental and computational projects related to neural signaling during physiological conditions and associated disruptions due to mechanical stress.

I arrived at Northwestern University in the Fall of 2010, and now split my time between the Complex Systems and Systems Biology lab of Dr. Luis A Nunes Amaral and the Laboratory for Cell Free Systems and Synthetic Biology of Dr. Michael Jewett. Here at Northwestern, I have transitioned away from neuroscience research and spend my time analyzing the language of DNA . While this language is (near) universal, there are a plethora of “dialects” – tendencies for certain classes of organisms, individual organisms, and even individual genes to prefer certain “words” over others. By analyzing species-specific dialects, I hope to better understand the evolutionary forces shaping the language of DNA and to apply this knowledge to biotechnology ends.


  • B. Sc. Anthropology, Temple University (2008)