What brought you to Gladstone?
Several years ago, when I was still a fresh postdoc, I moved to Gladstone with Sheng Ding’s lab. It was not easy to move long distances twice within 1 year (I had just moved from China to San Diego). However, I was fascinated by induced pluripotent stem cell research, and moreover, I was attracted to Gladstone’s reputation as a great place for postdoc training.
What do you like about Gladstone?
What I like most about Gladstone is its wonderful training environment. Gladstone not only cares about research, but it also cares about career development with a big vision. I have attended a lot of training courses, including topics like scientific management, leadership, the art of lecturing, and English as a Second Language, which benefited me a lot. In addition, the work environment is friendly and encouraging. I have been given a lot of support in my research and have made many wonderful friends.
Were you interested in science as a child?
When I was little, my favorite TV program was Human and Nature, which introduced me to all kinds of animals and plants. Before I realized what science was, I was simply surprised to learn there were so many different species on the earth, and I was curious about how amazing life could be.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
When I graduated from medical school, I could work in clinics with patients. However, I wanted to learn about the underlying life science—what causes disease and how it can be prevented. While in graduate school, I realized how rapidly life science advances, and I believe it will fundamentally revolutionize disease diagnosis and therapy. This excites me.
What or who influenced your decision to work in science?
While I was growing up, my mom worked in a hospital, and she showed me around the clinical lab that she worked in. The first time that I looked into a microscope, I didn’t know what I saw, but it piqued my curiosity of life science.
What do you do when you are not working in the lab?
I like to make all kinds of handicrafts. I really enjoy the process, and it doesn’t have the same challenges as working in a lab. Some experiments fail, but every craft has its own beauty. In addition, I like to read books, mostly biographies and novels. Every time I walk out of a library, I feel at peace.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I’d like to learn to play a musical instrument. I like music. It brings me peace and happiness, and even when I am working, it helps me concentrate.
What is your hidden/unique talent?
I think I am good with locations and directions. It is easy for me to find a way out or tell where something is, even if I saw it a long time ago. I might have developed this ability from my father—he had worked as a surveyor.
Name one thing that not many people know about you.
I like to talk with people. Sometimes I appear shy and reserved, but it’s only because I am building confidence in my English. For several years, I have been taking Linda Mahley’s English as a Second Language course at Gladstone. She has become a wonderful life mentor to me.
If you could meet any scientist from any point in time, who would it be and why?
I can’t name someone, because I want to meet scientists in 2070. I want to know how science will influence our lives in 50 years. At its rapid pace, I struggle to imagine how science will influence the way humanity evolves many years from now.