Zihou (Jim) Juan

Jim has a passion for biology and fundamental mechanisms that drive the functioning of organisms. He was a part of the University of Melbourne Extension Program (UMEP), which provides an opportunity for high school students to study first-year biology subjects.

As a kid I liked to read and learn about animals, and was interested in the diversity and beauty of organisms. I then became interested in the fundamental mechanisms that drive the functioning of organisms, especially in genetics, which seemingly underpins every aspect of life.

The best part about UMEP was the privilege of being able to learn from lecturers who are the top researchers in their fields whilst still a high school student. I enjoyed the opportunities to perform experiments as part of the subjects, as well as the research opportunities that followed.

I am currently studying Genes: Organisation & Function as part of my genetics major. For me, the most enjoyable aspect of these subjects is how they are linked to my casual research position. Being able to learn something in a course and immediately apply it to my work, or the other way around, is a pleasure.

Don’t feel that you are in the wrong field just because some content is not very interesting for you. If you like biology, you will identify facilitating content that you feel passionate about. Talk to current students about studying biology so you can get a feeling for the pathway that is right for you.

Find out more