Mark Igra

Sociology * Software


I’m a student in the UW Sociology PhD program. Though my research interests range widely, the primary motivation for my work in sociology is understanding the shape of concern for others, and how this affects action. That is, how do social structures and culture shape feelings of compassion, animus and indifference to others, based on their “social distance” from ourselves. Under what conditions do those feelings translate into beneficial or detrimental action? How do institutions and markets amplify or inhibit the effects of those actions? One of my current projects is looking at the motivations for refugee sponsorship in the wake of World War II and its effects on assimilation.


I've had a long career in the software industry working on data integration, analysis and development tools. I was a founder LabKey Software, where I remain on the board of directors. My interests include visualizing and telling stories with data.

About Me

I was a founder and am current board member of Labkey Software, a leading provider of biomedical research data systems. In 1999 I co-founded and was VP of Products for a ground-breaking hosted web development platform. Westside was acquired by BEA Systems (later acquired by Oracle). I worked at Microsoft througout the 1990s on the VB and Microsoft Excel teams. Back in 1988 I co-wrote version 1.0 of EndNote reference software for a small company in Berkeley. EndNote is still being sold by Thomson Reuters almost 30 years later, though I might try something more modern if I were you. I occasionally will post things on the internet, like this piece on Inclusion, and this one about my father's experience with child separation in Stalin's Soviet Union. I live with my wife and two wonderful sons in Seattle, where I demonstrate life’s futility by rooting for the Mariners and hoping for sunny days.