UT alumnus creates viral science memes

Iann Karamali

Science labs usually aren’t the places where viral videos and memes are made, but UT biochemistry alumnus Darrion Nguyen does just that. 

Nguyen recently began creating short videos and memes that parody pop culture and science on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Reddit.

His videos satire current social media trends like unboxing videos, characters in fighting games and fashion hauls, and are set in his neuro-research laboratory in Houston. However, Nguyen said it was not his intention to regularly make science memes.

“I work in a lab where I work from 8 a.m. to midnight sometimes,” Nguyen said. “My social life has been taken away, so to get back into social media, I decided to integrate my social life with science material.”

Nguyen said none of the current science meme pages catered to his sense of humor, so he decided to make his own content. 

“My inspiration comes from being sleep-deprived and thinking of ideas late at night,” Nguyen said. “My characters are a large exaggeration of my persona, so people are usually surprised by my shy demeanor in lab.” 

 



 
The responses to his many viral videos have been overwhelmingly positive, but Nguyen said he has received a few homophobic comments.

“I am unfazed by it because I am comfortable with who I am,” Nguyen said. “I am who I am, and I am not going to change that because you don’t like it.”

Although Nguyen’s humor is not exclusively for people with science backgrounds, many people in the STEM community closely follow his account, such as nursing junior Dani Bustamante. 

“A lot of people in our labs know about his memes,” Bustamante said. “People do not often find things in a lab very funny, but he has a clever way of lightening things up.”

Adriann Oomen, a civil engineering and humanities sophomore, is a self-proclaimed meme enthusiast and has been a longtime fan of Darrion’s content. 

“In a way, he is parodying pop culture but also the seriousness of labs and STEM,” Oomen said. “I am little jealous that I did not capitalize on the familiarity and meme-ablity of labs.”

Fans like Oomen and Bustamante said they hope Nguyen will continue to create his short videos.

“I will probably keep creating videos until I get in trouble for something,” Nguyen said. “Like violating a random lab safety code.”