Diana Chien, PhD

Photo of Diana Chien.



(617) 452-4086
Instructor/Manager, BE Communication Lab



Diana Chien has worked with the BE Communication Lab since 2013. While a Microbiology graduate student in Martin Polz’s lab at MIT, she joined the Communication Lab as one of the founding cohort of Fellows. Upon graduating with her PhD in 2016, she became the Communication Lab's manager and instructor. She now mentors the Fellow team, designs and coordinates communication support for the department, and teaches the communication components of 20.109 (Lab Fundamentals in Biological Engineering) and 20.380 (Biological Engineering Design).

Her dedication to teaching science communication grows out of her longtime passion for both biology and writing: as an undergraduate at Princeton University, she majored in ecology and evolutionary biology and minored in creative writing. Her poetry has received awards from and been published in major literary magazines. Diana is thrilled to be able to continue to pursue her joint interests with the BE Communication Lab, supporting the growth of communication skills that are vital for scientists wherever they are in their careers.

Past research areas

Microbial ecology and evolution:

  • Investigated the diversity of population dynamics, genomic content, and physiological adaptations (e.g., carbohydrate usage and chemotaxis behavior), among closely related wild ocean microbes
  • Used high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics, and physiological characterizations