Xining (Linda) Yang

Enhancing the pro-inflammatory anti-cancer immune response via a novel, acellular, bioreactor miRNA immunotherapeutic

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I wanted the kind of training that could equip me to deal with challenges. Taking charge of a scientific project was full of detecting and solving problems. It turned out that the trainings in science actually helped me in life as well.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I was lucky to have a chance to visit UBC during my undergraduate studies. It was an internship program supported by Mitacs and CSC in which I spent three months at UBC working on a project. I explored the campus a lot and fell in love with Vancouver. Most importantly, I met my current supervisor and chatted with him about science. I did not hesitate coming back to a city which I was quite familiar with and to a lab that I had already visited.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The department cares about the students a lot; many efforts have been made to help us succeed. Expectations are conveyed to students at the beginning of program and progress is evaluated annually. The program director or any staff can be easily reached should we have any problems or need help.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The cultural diversity of both UBC and Vancouver. It is such a friendly place that embraces people from all around the world.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

The effective interpersonal communication in the workplace.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

Pretty good. Although mostly in the scientific scenario, the program and UBC offer helpful workshops and social events for us to communicate and engage with people. Both my networking skills and presentation skills have improved.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I am always grateful for what I have and believe things will turn out better. This helped me overcome all the bumps in the PhD journey.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Travelling. I keep exploring Greater Vancouver and nearby areas by taking trips during long weekends. Once a year I will also give myself a trip to somewhere farther.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Make your plan and follow it. You may not achieve great things in one shot, but keep going step by step. Experiences are of great value.