Jiayi Dong

Favorite Course 20 subject and why?
20.230-Immunology, for opening my eyes to the theme park and enigma that is immunology. 20.109-Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering and 20.309-Instrumentation and Measurement for Biological Systems gave me an appreciation for the skills and knowledge sets beyond the technical biology that are important to being a good scientist, like being able communicate science well and understanding the instruments you use. Having long lab hours, they were also the classes where I got to learn most closely from instructors as well as bond with my Course 20 buddies.

What will you miss most about being an undergraduate at MIT?
I’ll miss having my friends within arm’s reach and being actively involved in the communities I found a home in. It’s been so fun trying new things and tackling new endeavors alongside my favorite humans at MIT.

Where will you be next year?
Still in Cambridge! I’ll be continuing my research in the Birnbaum Lab for a gap year.

Who deserves a shout-out?
My lab partners Bri Ko, Lexi Schneider, and Lia Tian, who stuck with me through the lab struggles and late pset nights and are present in all of my fondest Course 20 memories. All the upperclassmen who inspired me and helped guide the way. And finally, a very special thanks to my ever-patient advisor/PI Michael Birnbaum who has put up with my angst for three years and is somehow willing to do it for one more.