“Student scientists are energetic and full of creative ideas. A student who has not decided his/her research interest would benefit most from joining a program like PIBS. I enjoy several roles in interacting with students: interviewing PIBS candidates, advising and mentoring during rotations, and serving on prelim and thesis defense committees. The University of Michigan is able to recruit and provide strong support to many talented young scientists like myself. Most of the assistant professors I know bring in new ideas and conduct interesting research in their labs. Many of them are working on the bench themselves. These new labs are attractive to students, especially as they have the freedom to choose rotations from more than 300 labs through PIBS.
“Scientific curiosity drives my passion for research. When I obtain some interesting results of general public interest, I feel great when I realize that I am the only one in the world possessing this piece of information. In my lab, we recently made a technical breakthrough by developing a patch-clamp method to directly measure the functions of Ion channel proteins in the isolated late endosome/lysosome. Using this method, we are now able to understand the pathogenic cause of type IV mucolipidosis (ML4), a devastating neurodegenerative disease in young children. Our work has been accepted to publish in the journal of Nature.
“I see myself as a role model for my students. For example, I am a hard worker, so it is relatively easy for me to convince the students the importance of working hard. I also believe certain non-scientific attributes of students contribute significantly to their success. I spend lots of time in advising student on how to deal with things like frustration. The nature of scientific research guarantees some encounters with frustration. Students need all kinds of encouragement to get through these times, especially at the very beginning. They should make time for enough rest, and play games or some kind of competitive sport to let off steam.”