John graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Chemistry. Under the supervision of Dr. David Wemmer, he earned a doctoral degree in Chemistry studying protein structure and dynamics by solution nuclear magnetic resonance at the University of California at Berkeley. Several of the proteins he studied during his graduate training were gene transcription regulatory factors, which spurred an interest in the developmental role played by these proteins.
Pursuing this interest, John joined the Burke Medical Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow to investigate gene transcription regulatory mechanisms mediated by the Notch signaling pathway that are necessary for neural precursor cell development in Drosophila melanogaster. In 2006, he became an Instructor at the Burke Medical Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Neurology and Neuroscience. John collaborated with Dr. Harriet Baker to study specification of the dopaminergic neuronal phenotype in the mammalian olfactory bulb.
In 2012, John was promoted to Assistant Professor at the Burke Medical Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Neurology and Neuroscience. His laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that establish the diversity of neuronal phenotypes in brain. The laboratory is currently focused on the regulation of neural stem cell differentiation in the post-natal and adult subventricular zone.