Young Female Researcher Balances Family, Work

September 6, 2017  By People's Daily  Editor: Hewater Liu
Young Female Researcher Balances Family, Work

Liu Ying carries out an experiment in her laboratory. [People's Daily]


A 33-year-old researcher from the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) in Peking University has tried her utmost to keep a balance between her scientific studies, formal instruction, domestic affairs and physical exercise.

Liu Ying became interested in biology when she was a student in junior middle school. Her wish eventually came true when she was admitted by Nanjing University in 2002. Her determination to pursue academic studies in biology made her miss the opportunity of attending Peking University or Tsinghua University for her undergraduate education, though her academic scores in the college entrance exams, or Gaokao, had already surpassed the admission standards.

Liu continued her academic studies in the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas affiliated to the University of Texas after she got her bachelor's degree in the major of biology in 2006.

However, it was never easy for Liu to pursue her further education in the U.S. from the beginning. She often recorded the classes and listened to them again and again at night since her English wasn't good enough back then. In the meantime she had to ask for help when she had no idea how to undertake relevant research in her laboratory.

Liu even had doubt over herself when she failed to attain the expected results from scientific research in the first two years of her pursuit for a Ph.D. degree. Instead of giving up with her commitment to biology and transferring herself to another major, she devoted more time and energy to her ensuing studies.

Liu finally tasted the happiness of success in scientific research when her experiment got the anticipated result and her dissertation was published in the authoritative journal Science in the summer of 2009. Two years later, she received her doctorate degree in the major of biochemistry.

Liu worked for postdoctoral studies as a research fellow of professor Helen Hay Whitney in Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (HMS) from 2011 to 2013. Under the guidance of her academic supervisor Gary Ruvkun, she chose mitochondrion as a focus of her scientific research.

Liu has published a dozen articles in Science, Cell among globally renowned journals, and achieved great success since she returned to China at the end of 2013.

Liu was elevated to an academic supervisor position for doctorate students at the age of 29. This year, she was conferred with the honor as an international scholar in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

When talking about her scientific research, Liu admitted that there was still a long way to go before they can be applied to clinical trials.

"For me, scientific research is just like a marathon and I will stick to it regardless of hardships involved in the process," Liu added.

Although Liu is preoccupied with her normal instructions and scientific research, she is delighted to open online lectures for students from elementary schools via WeChat (China's major social networking application).

In her lecture, Liu has emphasized the cultivation of curiosity towards nature amongst children, raised their awareness of environmental protection, and encouraged them to have effective interactions with teachers.

Moreover, Liu has managed not to let her involvement in her normal work exercise a negative effect upon the growth of her one-year-old daughter and her family life. She often plays with her child in the evening and on the weekend regardless of her busy schedule.

Liu disclosed that she regularly takes part in physical exercise and has made cakes for her family members in her free time, which she believes will further enrich her personal life.

Prior to the end of her interview, Liu proposed to her peers that they should have a clear goal in their pursuit of scientific studies if they want to succeed.


Young Female Researcher Balances Family, Work

Liu Ying poses for a photo when she attends a marathon in Beijing. [People's Daily]


(Source: People's Daily/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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