Student Profiles


Langchen (Elsie) Fan

Hometown: Beijing, China

Anticipated Graduation Year: 2020

Degree: PhD

Program: Biomedical Engineering

Research Group:Carney Lab

Why did you pick the University of Rochester?

There are several reasons that I chose Rochester. During my grad school application, I got to know Dr. Carney in person and I was very interested in her work. I liked that the program offered rotations in different labs and a wide range of courses to choose from. Also, Rochester is a friendly city to international students.

What lab did you choose and why?

I chose the Carney lab mainly because of match in research interests (hearing), and also because our personalities were a great match.

What is your research project?

My research project is to study how the neurons in the midbrain respond to tone in noise, trying to understand how we detect signal in the noisy environment. People with hearing loss have a lot of difficulty in a noisy environment, so our long-term goal is to understand the neural mechanism to help improve their listening experience.

What have you enjoyed most about your training so far?

I enjoy almost everything, but I particularly enjoy discussing and exchanging ideas with my advisor and my colleagues, trying to understand what’s going on in the brain.

What are your plans for the future? Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?

I want to be a professor in the future. After finishing my PhD, I’ll look for post doc positions to build up knowledge and skills that I need as an independent researcher.

When should you start Networking for academic opportunities? How did you start?

The earlier the better. Once you figure out what you want, there is no need to delay. But I think that for pursuing a career in academia, the quality of research is still the most important. I started in my sophomore by sending an email to express my interests in my undergrad advisor’s work.