Adrienne Chang


What is your field and why did you choose it?

I chose the field of biophysics because I couldn't decide on a single path! I was driven by the applicability of biology, appreciate the structure and logic of more theoretical fields like chemistry and physics, and the hands-on approach and inventiveness of engineering. Biophysics was a unique field that captured all these characteristics and allows me the flexibility to research at the interface of science and engineering fields.

Tell us a bit about your career path.

My career path is anything but a straight line—I've explored everything from medical biology to computational chemistry, with a splash of science policy and science communication in between. Having tried my hand at all these different complementary career opportunities, I can't say for sure where I'll end up after my PhD but I'll definitely be keeping an open mind to more "non-traditional" science careers.

Any advice for students interest in STEM?

Never say no to trying a new field! I can recall many instances where I declared that I would never do X, Y, or Z—only to find out that I loved that field of research. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but at least now that you've tried it, you'll know that it's not right for you.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose?

Grace Hopper. She was a pioneer in so many ways, who I am sure could provide so much great advice for navigating and balancing a career in STEM.

Annotated Population-level analysis of gut microbiome variation