COSAM News Articles 2016 August Alumni Spotlight: Dr. William Earl Bobo

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. William Earl Bobo

Published: 08/31/2016

By: Lindsay Penny

Dr. William Earl Bobo, molecular biology ’92, is a radiation oncologist at the Southeast Radiation Oncology Group in Charlotte, North Carolina.

When he began his academic journey at Auburn, Bobo had set out to become a veterinarian.

“After meeting with Dr. Lawrence Wit, I determined Auburn was the place for me,” said Bobo. “I was drawn in a different direction and became interested in molecular biology, which was a new degree option at the time.”

His advisors, Bill Mason and Marie Wooten, helped guide Bobo into a career path he would soon love.

While at Auburn, Bobo was involved with the Beta Beta Beta biology society and was a part of the Wooten Laboratory, researching Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

“My final decision to go into medicine was made late during my time at Auburn as I struggled between a Ph.D. and M.D.,” said Bobo. “Ultimately, I felt medicine was right for me, as it would provide me more opportunities like patient interaction and the potential for research. My father was a surgeon and despite his plea for me not to go into medicine, I felt it was my calling.”

Bobo went on to the Emory University School of Medicine where he received his medical degree. After working with cancer patients during his clinical rotations, Bobo made the decision to go into radiation oncology.

“I enjoyed the molecular aspects of cancer and all the advancements that were being made in our understanding of cancer processes which appealed to my molecular biology background,” said Bobo. “Radiation oncology satisfied my physics interests. The most rewarding part of my career is helping patients and interacting with them during their cancer journey. I visit with them weekly while on treatment and see them in follow up. The satisfaction I get from this experience is hard to describe. While there are depressing times in my career, it is also very rewarding to be with patients in their last days.”

When asked about a favorite Auburn memory, Bobo says it is hard to say.

“I enjoyed so much; the energy of the school, the fantastic faculty, friendliness of campus and the appeal of the small town, which is much larger now.”

Bobo’s daughter, an interior design major, began her senior year at Auburn this fall.

“It is truly a joy to go visit her on campus,” said Bobo. “Auburn has grown so much since I graduated in 1992. The restaurants are fantastic and we enjoy eating at as many as we can each time we go.”

Bobo says that his time spent in the College of Sciences and Mathematics was invaluable.

“My experience with COSAM was exceptional, and Drs. Mason and Wooten were very involved in my path and helped with my decision making process,” said Bobo. “The professors were readily available and always helpful. In fact, Dr. Wooten is the main reason I was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. She nominated me and worked diligently with me in the application process. She and many other faculty members demonstrated a true interest in my success.”

Bobo and his wife, Kristi, psychology ’92, have three daughters and reside in Charlotte. 

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