Current Title and Department:
Postdoctoral Scientist, The Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California, USA.
Bachelor of Engineering at Central South University, China
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, USA
(ORS Spine Section members in bold)
Who do you consider your mentors?
Dr. Dmitriy Sheyn, my current mentor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, is instrumental in guiding me in my current research and career trajectory. He always encourages me to break the conventions in research, adopting the newest technologies as much as possible, and build up collaborative research relations both internally and externally. Under the leadership of Dr. Sheyn, our lab maintains an active and friendly working relationship, which offers me a good environment to engage in my current research. This is particularly important as I am more of a chemist/engineer background PhD now deeply involved with biomedical research, trying to utilize engineering approach to improve cell-based therapies in a collaborative way. My earlier engagement in orthopaedic research comes from my PhD study at the University of California at Riverside, during which I closely worked with my PhD mentor, Dr. Huinan Liu, on developing several bio-resorbable materials. Dr. Liu gave me comprehensive scientific training in both materials science and bioengineering, which laid a solid foundation for my current research.
What is your specific area of interest in research?
My research focuses on developing biomaterials-enabled cell-based therapies for orthopedic tissue regenerations, particularly for intervertebral disc regeneration. I am also interested in exploring new technologies to empower cell and gene therapies, such as the single-cell RNA-seq.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on improving cell-based therapies for intervertebral disc degeneration, including microgels cell delivery system, to treat and study the mechanism of the lower back pain at cellular and molecular levels.
What has been the biggest challenge for you lately in your research?
It is challenging to create a viable microgel encapsulation system for cell delivery to complex musculoskeletal tissues.
What are projects are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to creating injectable cell delivery systems for cellular therapeutics for common orthopedic disorders.
What do you like to do outside of your work?
I like traveling, reading, and music, mostly country/blues.
What is the last book you read?
Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty by Zygmunt Bauman
What is the most unusual/unexpected item sitting on your desk right now?
A decaf iced vanilla latte.