Where They’re Headed: Lucy Zhao ’22

The biology major is starting Harvard University’s Ph.D. program in biological and biomedical sciences.

Four years of studying microbiology at Haverford have led biology major Lucy Zhao to a rigorous Ph.D. program in biological and biomedical sciences at Harvard University. The program will allow Zhao to work in a variety of research fields, such as genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology.

Zhao credits the biology and chemistry courses she took at Haverford, namely “Organic Biological Chemistry” and “Organic Reactions and Synthesis,” with her preparedness for graduate school, as they were particularly helpful in expanding her knowledge and understanding of enzymatic reactions.

Zhao also credits Assistant Professor of Biology Eric Miller with helping her reach her post-Haverford goal. “Eric has supported me during my moments of self-doubt and has helped me to develop a growth mindset,” she said.

Rejections from fellowship and scholarship programs along the way didn’t stop her. Instead, those disappointing experiences inspired her to broaden her reach. As she sets out on her doctoral path, Zhao has a piece of advice for Haverford students interested in a Ph.D. in biology: Apply for internships with research-intensive universities.

“As a 2021 summer student of Harvard University’s Immunology Undergraduate Summer Program, I gained firsthand experience working on a graduate-level research project with my mentors,” said Zhao. “I had an unforgettable time at Harvard, and the invaluable summer research experience solidified my decision to pursue a Ph.D. in biological science.”

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series chronicling the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.