Jim received his undergraduate degree in Biology and English Literature (Honors) from Binghamton University in upstate New York. He carried out his graduate work with Dr. Richard Myers in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University, where he contributed to the Human Genome Project and characterized the evolutionary history of protocadherin cluster genes in vertebrates. He received his Ph.D. in 2004. He did his postdoctoral work in Dr. Edward Rubin's lab at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. At Berkeley, Jim developed methods to sequence and analyze ancient genomic DNA, providing the first insight into the Neanderthal genome. He also pioneered the discovery and analysis of uniquely human genetic changes that altered developmental gene regulation during human evolution. Jim joined the Yale Genetics faculty in 2007. He is currently Associate Professor (tenure) of Genetics, of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and of Neuroscience. He is also a member of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, the Yale Stem Cell Center, and Executive Director for Genome Sciences at the Yale Center for Genome Analysis.