Jingyu Zhang , Biochemistry and Biological Engineering Laboratory , Niskayuna, NY USA
What problems are you trying to solve?
I am part of a team working on developing new technology to advance personalized medicine for cancer patients. It is critical to identify bio-signatures that can predict drug response, since it will help physicians to choose the most efficient therapy for individual patients. The multiplexing technology we are working on has the capacity to analyze large number of biomarkers in a single tissue section, which provide a unique opportunity to study entire pathways on a cell-by-cell basis, and to discover new biomarker signatures. In the past two years, my focus has been on understanding expression profiles of signaling pathways to help identify bio-signatures, working with an interdisciplinary team on technology development/improvement, and coordinating multiple studies to ensure the execution. This is a very exciting technology and I believe it will make a difference for patients.
Can you explain a specific moment/time in your past when you first realized you wanted to be a scientist/engineer?
I wanted to be a doctor when I was a child. The reason was I was so scared when they gave me shots. I believed that doctors give other people shots but they do not get sick. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a doctor because I loved my science and biology classes. After I went to medical school, I learned that there are so many diseases without effective therapy. Then I decided I wanted to do research to improve treatment for patients. I came to Carnegie Mellon University for my Ph.D. in Biology. Now I am a research scientist at GE Global Research, doing exactly the work I wanted to do, to develop technology to improve personalized treatment for patients.
What do you read over morning coffee?
I read "Science Daily" and listen to NPR. They keep me updated on what is new in the world.
How have you applied your scientific/engineering background to a task/activity outside of work?
In graduate school, I helped students in the art department organize a show about cloning.
What inspires you?
I have learned in medical school how much patients could suffer if there is no effective therapy. I am convinced that I want to work on improving patientsâ€™ lives. I am also inspired by advances in all different technology areas: I believe that integrating different technologies is the key to create better technology to make what was impossible possible.