Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I plan to pursue a career combining medical practice with scientific research focusing on cancer diagnosis and treatment. Pursuing graduate studies gives me the opportunity to learn how to conduct scientific research independently and creatively.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is a natural choice for me for many reasons. There are two most important reasons: First, UBC has a rich tradition and an outstanding reputation as a leader in biomedical research; Second, Dr. Youwen Zhou presented a research talk on skin lymphomas in Peking University where I was studying clinical dermatology. As a result, I became interested in skin lymphoma research and decided to become a graduate student in his laboratory at UBC.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was pleasantly surprised that every bit of the academic excellence and natural beauty of UBC that I heard about actually turned out to be true! In addition, the cultural diversity made me feel right at home.
What do you hope to accomplish with your research?
There are two major goals of my research. First, I hope to develop a method to help physicians confirm the diagnosis of skin lymphomas, which at present are difficult to differentiate from common but benign skin diseases such as psoriasis. Second, I am interested in turning TOX into a target for developing therapies for skin lymphomas, which at present do not have a cure.
What has winning a major award meant to you?
I am extremely honored to be a Vanier scholar. This award provides strong encouragement for me to work toward my career goal of becoming a leading physician scientist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Being a graduate student at UBC is challenging and requires hard work. Stay passionate about your work and be open to challenges. However, do not forget to embrace the metropolitan city of Vancouver and the natural beauty of British Columbia. Meet new people and live life to the fullest in Vancouver!