XJTLU students to learn bioinformatics at Harvard
2018-06-12 16:00:00

Zhang Qing

As the graduation season is approaching, Zhang Qing, a student of the Biological Sciences Department of Suzhou-based Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, has received an offer from Harvard University and will soon go to Boston to pursue a postgraduate study in bioinformatics.

Zhang said bioinformatics is the key to successfully knocking on the door of the prestigious university, while participation in the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) played a vital role in identifying the key. In her junior year, Zhang Qing's team went to Boston to participate in the iGEM finals, competed with 270 teams from the world’s top universities, and finally won a silver medal.

Zhang Qing with teammates at iGEM

Realizing that biological studies can be approached from mathematical perspectives, Zhang has made up her mind to concentrate on bioinformatics. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines computer science and biology, and has high requirements for mathematics and programming. At the time of Zhang Qing's enrollment, the Department of Biological Sciences did not offer the major of bioinformatics.

Fortunately, since the summer vacation when she was a junior, Zhang has been a member of a research team led by Meng Jia, who earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at San Antonio in 2011. In the research group, every member took turns to make weekly presentation and learned from each other. Zhang was able to make rapid progress thanks to the excellent teachers, liberal learning environment, her own talent, and diligence.

Zhang also received offers from the Carnegie Mellon University and Tufts University. However, Zhang said that she prefers a school with strong academic atmosphere. For the future study plan, Zhang said that Boston’s rich medical resources is vital for the bioinformatics study, and scientific research results can be transformed into application more quickly provided with first-hand data.

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Amanda