Chi studied at the University of Wisconsin where he worked on the anaerobic cobamides biosynthesis pathways and acetate metabolism in Salmonella enterica and other bacteria. At Wisconsin, Chi was captivated by a seminar given by Daniel Bond, an invited Distinguished Lectures speaker to the Department of Bacteriology, where he presented what was known on the physiology of a conductive biofilm in Geobacter sulfurreducens. Chi eventually joined the Bond Lab to work on furthering the understanding of how Geobacter and related organisms make a living. Alongside some talented graduate students, he is set to improve on the existing genetic system in G. sulfurreducens to tease apart the pathways for extracellular respiration and signaling via cGAMP. He is also keen on the characterization of some of these enzymes through collaborations with fellow lab members. Chi is the de facto personnel department and the gatekeeper for undergraduate research in the Bond Lab.