Web Exclusives: Careers
What Ever Happened to Ryan Harrison?
When we last reported, Ryan Harrison was a freshman at Johns Hopkins University. While Harrison continued working in Jeff Gray's lab throughout college, he also explored other research experiences that took him across the country and even the world. He conducted research as an intern for the bioengineering department at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he even went to Japan to work with the National Institute for Materials Science's macromolecules group to develop a new chemical compound.
But Harrison's college life wasn't all about science. His undergraduate journey also included a brief political career—he served as a health policy intern for the local health department, an applied economics aide for a business institute and a legislative aide for the Maryland General Assembly. He continued to take time out to nurture his creative side, serving as a light technician, sound designer and director for several student theater productions.
Harrison graduated from Hopkins in December 2009, and today he develops bioinformatics software for Ginkgo BioWorks in Boston. He was recently accepted into the NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program, where he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in bioengineering or chemical engineering. "I've seen the job market—and prospects in biotech fields aren't promising for someone with [just] an undergraduate degree. So I decided to go to grad school because I want to be on the research and development side of things," he explains.
While he's not certain about where he'll end up, Harrison has high hopes that any future endeavors will mesh his love of science and health policy.