Sunny C. Chang

Sunny C. Chang

2017 IRACDA Cohort

Current Position:

Instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


I grew up in New York City and attended a math and science specialized high school. I traded in the hustle and bustle of the city for sunshine at the California Institute of Technology where I received my B.S. in Chemistry. I pursued Ph.D. at UCLA in the Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry with Dr. Todd Yeates, studying X-ray crystallography and Bacterial Microcompartment proteins. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jessica Wang and co-sponsor Dr. Jake Lusis in the Dept of Medicine-Cardiology. Under the direction of my sponsors, I apply my background in structural and molecular biology to basic research in Heart Failure and Inherited Cardiomyopathies. We use in vivo and in vitro approaches to identify novel genetic factors contributing to disease, both from the clinic and from animal models. In addition, I enjoy doing science outreach activities with the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science.

I have been lucky to be the recipient of a great STEM education that has allowed me to persist toward degrees in STEM. However, the traditional STEM education leaves many students behind and much reform is needed. I believe using evidence-based practices is the key to improving the way we teach science and even to increasing diversity in science. With the IRACDA fellowship in partnership with CSULA mentor Dr. Jamil Momand in the Dept of Biochemistry, I aim to learn new methods of teaching & assessment and prepare for an academic career in research & teaching.