Previous Institution: City College of New York (CCNY), CUNY
I was born in Zhongshan, a city in Guangdong, China. It was the birthplace of Sun Yat-Sen, who overturned Imperial China and has been widely respected as the father of modern China. The city was in fact renamed to honor him (Sun Yat-Sen is known as Sun Zhongshan in Chinese). When I was 15, my family moved to the US and has been in New York since then. I earned my bachelor degree in biomedical engineering (BME) from the City College of New York.
When I started my undergraduate studies, I did not intend to pursue a PhD degree in biology, but my career goal changed after my very first laboratory experience. During my junior year, I worked in a BME lab to study the hydraulic conductivity (permeability to water) and integrity of endothelial monolayers after electric stimulation. This was my first time working with a living system and subsequently became interested in studying biology. After my graduation, as a technician at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I not only worked independently but also collaborated with other researchers on several projects studying the maintenance of genomic imprinting and mouse embryonic development without proper imprints. I also worked for several months at Columbia University Medical Center prior to starting graduate school. At CUMC I mostly worked on histology but also participated in a project to characterize primary mouse prostate tumor and its metastases in other tissues, such as brain, lung, and bone.
At Columbia, I would like to focus my graduate studies at developmental biology or gene regulation. I am interested to learn how gene expression is regulated and how such highly coordinated gene /signal transduction networks interact for proper development.