During the past several decades, many outstanding women returnees have made great contributions to the promotion of the nation's scientific development. The women have caught the attention of numerous people around the world.
Bittersweet Experience in Paris
Ma Yuting, 37, set her life's goal of studying immunology when she was a student (from 2001-2004) at the College of Life Science, under Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST, in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province). In 2004, she enrolled, with top grades, in the department of immunology of HUST's School of Basic Medicine. Ma studied in the school's postgraduate program in immunology, under Gong Feili, one of China's top immunology scholars.
Ma in 2008 began a Ph.D. program in immunology at Paris-Sud University (Paris XI), the predecessor of the University of Paris-Saclay. Although Paris is known as the "city of love and romance," Ma's life in Paris was not rosy. During her first year at the school, she worked hard to overcome the language barrier. Gradually, she adjusted to her new environment. Given her persevering efforts, she completed her studies ahead of schedule.
While she was studying in the postdoctoral program, she led a team in conducting earth-breaking studies (in immunology). Given her remarkable performances, Ma's Ph.D. supervisor asked her to teach at the university. Ma gently declined her supervisor's overture, as she wanted to devote her life to promoting China's scientific development. Also, she was determined to keep her vow of serving people with all her heart. Ma will never forget how excited she was when she vowed, under the Party's flag, for the first time in her life, that she would serve people with all her heart. That happened on a fine day in 2002, when she joined the Party in HUST.
|Ma Yuting receives her Ph.D. degree in immunology from Paris-Sud University.|
Passionate Dream Chaser
In September 2015, Ma returned to Suzhou, a city in East China's Jiangsu Province. Within a short time, she began working, as a researcher, at Suzhou Institute of Systems Medicine, under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
When someone asked her if she was given another chance to choose her career would she still want to be a scientific researcher, Ma replied, "I take delight in conducting scientific research, which may satisfy my curiosity."
Ma leads her research team in studying how to use the human immune system to fight off tumors. For Ma, the work is like an exciting game — she and her team's members are trying their best to find the "new weapon" to help the human immune system defeat tumors. Under Ma's leadership, the team's members stay on good terms with each other, working hard to achieve the same goal. Despite repeated failures in their scientific experiments, Ma and her team's members have carried on.
"I'm lucky that I live in a good age. Given the support of the Chinese Government, I have had the opportunity to lead my team in conducting research … I hope the achievements in our studies will help cancer patients overcome their diseases," says Ma.
During the past several years, Ma has received numerous honors in recognition of her efforts and hard work. For example, she has been named a National March 8th Red-Banner Holder and a National Advanced Worker. In 2019, she received the "For Women in Science" (FWIS) award.
"I love my lifestyle — working as a researcher in my favorite city, with the support of my family," says Ma. "A couple should appreciate and be tolerant of each other. They should also support each other, while they strive to make progress (in their work)."
Despite her tight schedule, Ma manages to spend time with her son. She encourages her little boy to explore the world, to think independently, and to try new things. She also takes delight in sharing the joy of her boy's progress.
|Ma Yuting is at work.|
Photos Supplied by Ma Yuting
(Women of China English Monthly October 2021 issue)
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