Q & A with Research Technician Bobby Voss

photo of Bobby Voss in wheelchair track event

Bobby Voss developed a passion for science while in school and now enjoys discovering new ways to advance research to benefit mankind. When not at the lab bench he enjoys spending time with family and sports.

What is your role in the department?

photo of Voss family
Bobby Voss (left) with family this past Christmas.

I am currently a Research Technician II. I started at Washington University in March 2017 in Kevin Ohlemiller’s lab working on a drug trial study to restore hearing using a mouse model. In May 2022, I started working in Lavinia Sheet’s lab exploring the role that macrophages play in noise injury and neuromast regeneration in a zebrafish model.

After I graduated from Mizzou, I did a research internship at the St. Louis Zoo. I have also worked as a veterinary technician at a local vet clinic, then I worked in the parasitology department at a veterinary diagnostic lab in Memphis, TN before coming to WashU.

What do you like most about your work here?

Every day I get to work with some great people within our scientific community trying to solve problems that contribute to real world issues. I really enjoy constantly learning and gaining new skills in the lab.

photo of Bobby Voss and nephews
One of Voss’ favorite pastimes is hanging out with his nephews, from left: David, Miles and Emmett.

What was childhood like?

I was born and raised here in St. Louis. I went to Francis Howell Central High School, and I went to college at Mizzou where I studied fisheries and wildlife. Growing up I had the opportunity to compete in several wheelchair sports.

What influenced you to want to work in a medical research setting?

I’ve always had an interest in biology and science in general. I was also lucky to have some great science teachers when I was growing up that helped encourage my interest in science. Being part of a great group of scientists here at WashU with the opportunity to discover and publish something new is really exciting.

What spare time activity do you most enjoy?

I most enjoy spending time with family, especially when I get to see my three nephews. I also really treasure going to Cardinals games with my dad. I’m very happy to be back home in St. Louis.

photo of Bobby Voss playing basketball
Voss takes a shot during a Mizzou basketball game.

I am also kind of hooked on watching college basketball and college football. I played basketball 12 years growing up. It is definitely my favorite sport.

Is there a special something at the top of your bucket list, and why? 

Skydiving! I tried it at an indoor facility, and it was amazing. Now, I want to experience the real thing. I also want to travel more. A few places on my travel list are Germany, Alaska, and New Zealand.

What would most surprise your colleagues to learn about you?

I was involved in multiple wheelchair sports when I was younger. I played on the wheelchair basketball team at Mizzou, and I competed in wheelchair track and field at the national level all through high school.