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Getting to Know Cholsoon Jang, PhD

Date Posted: Monday, January 29, 2024

Our guest speaker on February 1, 2024 will be Cholsoon Jang, Assistant Professor at University of California, Irvine. Cholsoon received his PhD from Harvard University in Zoltan Arany's lab. He then conducted his postdoctoral research with Joshua Rabinowitz at Princeton University before starting his own laboratory in 2019.

The Jang lab investigates metabolism from a whole organism perspective, uncovering both novel concepts such as inter-organ metabolic communication, while developing cutting edge organism-level metabolomics and in vivo isotope tracing technologies.

We asked Cholsoon to answer the following scientific and non-scientific questions:

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy chatting with my postdocs and students about life, data or anything. I think interacting with a new generation all the time is the unique blessing this job offers. You always feel young. 

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I walk and bike a lot, almost everyday. I enjoy wild animal encounters. I get the best ideas when I do this. I found California is the best place to do this after I moved here.

What advice would you give to trainees?

In my experience, trainees who talk to PIs and lab colleagues more often are more succeessful.  This could be science or life advice. The first time is always hard but once you start and get used to it, it will become a good habit. 

Which movies & books have you recently enjoyed and/or shows have you binged?

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer [written by Siddhartha Mukherjee]. I strongly recommend it. It’s about the history of cancer research. You will learn how science advances slowly with lots of failures and breakthroughs.

What hidden talent would most people not know about you?

I play the piano. I used to be very good but I'mm not sure anymore, haha.

What do you wish you could do if you had more free time?

I want to travel to Africa and Amazon jungles...if my wife approves.

What is something funny or memorable that happened to you in the lab as a PI or trainee?

During my postdoc at Princeton, I commuted from New York City, which took two hours door-to-door - one way!  I did it for four years. But I think I was most productive during that time because the four hour daily train commute forced me to think and read a lot, before doing actual experiments.