Nanjing University, 2009-2013 (Nanjing, China); University of Southern California, 2013-2015 (Los Angeles, CA); Pennsylvania State University, 2015- present (State College, PA)
B.S. in Biological Science; M.S. in Molecular Pathology; Ph.D candidate in Evolutionary Genomics
University of Southern California; Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University
Favourite thing to do in my job: Read the latest research papers.
I study how genes acquire new function after they copied themselves millions years ago
I use computer to analyze the DNA sequence of fruit fly and infer what have happened to them over the millions of years. I’m most interested in the sequences of genes that have duplicated themselves a long time ago (several millions years). The two copies were identical (or almost identical) after the duplication event. Gradually, they became more and more different. One of the two copies might acquire a completely new function and become crucial pretty quickly. I’m trying to figure out what are the factors that contribute to the emergence of new function.
Here is a link to my lab website : )
My Typical Day
Take classes, write code to analyze data, and work on my homework/course project.
This is my second year in graduate school. I’m taking several statistics classes to learn the basic/advanced tools to analyze my data. At the same time, I work on my research project and try to write down the exciting results I get.
On a typical day, I get up at 7:30 am and leave for school around 8:30 am. I go back home around 6:00pm.
What I'd do with the prize money
Support the science summer camp at local schools
There’re science summer camp hosted at Penn state every year.
I volunteered as curriculum mentor last summer and found a lot of kids really enjoy their experience. If I won the money, I would donate it to this program and help make it better.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Joyful, rational, reliable
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Hatch a chicken that has been genetically modified by me
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My pediatrician. She patiently explained to me how my stomach/immune system/skin works during my visit. I have been curious about biology, and knew more biology than my peers since I was a kid.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A professor : )
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I overslept and missed an exam when I was in 5th grade. Ever since that, I set multiple alarms if I have important things to do next day.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A playwriter. The type who writes for movies and TV shows.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Strawberry, green tea, sushi
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Horseback riding along the beaches in Puerto Rico
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Always be healthy (got sick A LOT when I was a kid), live by the sea, own a beautiful garden
Tell us a joke.
What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt!