Read on for research experiences from a recent AHA fellowship awardee and current SBU graduate student
Name: Lingshuang Wu
Education: (What and where): 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Airola Lab in Biochemistry and Structural Biology program at Stony Brook University; B.S. in Biological Sciences at ShanghaiTech University
Research: My research focuses on Structure and function of enzymes in lipid metabolism
Current Research: (What do you study and what are the implications of that work?): I’m currently working on the structure and function of lipid-modifying enzymes and their regulator. I wish to understand the mechanism of lipid-protein binding and protein-protein interaction and identify potential therapeutic targets of lipid catabolism diseases, e.g. cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, fatty liver diseases, etc.
Future goal(s): I plan to work in the R&D department in biotech or pharmaceutical companies, to apply the knowledge and technique I learned to the real world. Before that, an industry postdoc position would be also helpful to accumulate more research experience and have an insight of the industry work environment.
When did you know you were interested in pursuing a degree in science? Who (or what) sparked your interest in this field?
It was in my high school, I volunteered at child welfare to play games with the children there. Most of them were left because of congenital diseases. Their innocent face made me sad and I wondered if there was any treatment and how current biological science or medical science research could help them, and I want to be part of it. During my college, I met my first advisor who is a structural biologist. He showed me amazing protein 3D structures and how small peptide drugs can fit in protein structures. Also, I’m always thinking I need to do something challenging when I’m still young, and getting a PhD degree is definitely on my list.
What do you think needs to happen for there to be more women in science?
Young girls should be encouraged to develop interests in the science/engineering field. Women need to get access to high-quality education, more training opportunities, and a more supportive environment. At the same time, the gender bias that women are good at being sensible instead of logical should be challenged and eliminated in the workspace. A lot of effort should be put in by all organizations, institutions, and even the government.
Name one achievement/award/moment that you are proud of and why:
This AHA fellowship is an award that I’m proud of. I had difficulties with my experiments and hesitated about whether switch projects at that point, but the feedback/reviews I received are all very supportive and positive. I feel I got huge confidence to continue working on my project.
Favorite thing to do on Long Island:
Staring at the sea in winter or lying on the beach in summer. Every time I am frustrated or struggle, I always drive to the beach. West meadow beach is the closest to campus and coppers beach is my favorite near Southampton. The sea helped me calm down, refresh my mind, and relax.
If you didn’t have to sleep what would you do with the free time?
I want to run a flower shop. I love their colorful look and fresh scent and I wish to take care of them and enjoy life with them.