Chen Lingling, a scientist from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SIBCB). [acwf.people.com]
As the dark matter exists in human's life entity, the disorder of the no-coding ribonucleic acid (RNA) is found to have been involved in many serious diseases. In order to explore the mystery of RNA, Chen Lingling, a scientist from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SIBCB), has been working in the related field for years.
"The world of RNA is really interesting," said Chen.
During years of research, she has set up multiple new technological systems to detect RNA and found a new series of LncRNAs, including the genome's dark matter which is closely related to the cause of Prader-Willi syndrome.
According to Chen, these LncRNAs will be used as gene markers during antenatal examinations in the future, preventing the disease from the very beginning.
For now, although research exploring the connection between LncRNAs' functions and diseases is limited, Chen expects new therapies to tackle complicated illnesses due to her curiosity in the unknown mystery.
"There is a great number of research indicating that changes in LncRNA could induce various diseases, including nerve diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancers. At present, research fellows have already carried out breast cancer treatment by knocking MalatI LncRNA out during experiments on mouse models," said Chen.
Apart from being a doctoral student of biomedicine at the University of Connecticut in America, Chen also studied in an MBA program at the same time.
Chen recalled that she usually spent the daytime doing experiments and went to management classes at night, which is how she gradually found her interest in science.
Thanks to her mentor's encouragement, Chen started to explore new research areas. She not only revealed the functional mechanism of the way NEATI LncRNA controls the substructure of unclear elements but also gained confidence from her research work, which leaded her to dream of being a productive scientist.
During the five years after she came back to China, Chen experienced the flourishing development of LncRNA study and managed her research team well, thanks to the knowledge she gained in America.
Due to her daily busy schedule, Chen usually works six days a week and often gets up at five o'clock every morning, and has done so since the Spring Festival in 2016. She says, "This working pattern is very common in our institution and I never felt tired of my job because I did it for interest."
Chen stated that she always feels excited when a scientific hypothesis is proved and tries her best to find new directions from failures.
"Participating in discovering the unknown world is such an honour for me. I am always motivated by the endless potential of LncRNA when doing research and feel a sense of achievement when establishing new knowledge systems based on my study results," said she.
As a mother of a little girl, Chen spends almost all her free time with her child. For now, staying with family and finding the answers to some outstanding scientific questions are the things which bring her the most happiness in her life.
(Source: acwf.people.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)