November 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

Three Students from Chinese University Visit Molecular and Cellular Biology

Internationalization and globalization are realities in today’s world. So too, these factors are influencing education and research, resulting in rapid changes in all aspects of these endeavors. In recognition of these rapid changes, the Ohio University Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Capital Normal University College of Life Sciences in Beijing, China, established a cooperative research scholars program in April 2011.

This year three students from Capital Normal University are visiting Ohio University: Siqi Shen, He Zhang, and Lingyu Zhang; MCB faculty mentors are Dr. Xiao ChenDr. Mario Grijalva, and Dr. Shiyong Wu.

“The main objective of this agreement is to take steps to ensure that graduating students and faculty are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly interconnected world,” says Dr. Robert A. Colvin, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Now in its third year, the agreement has provided the mechanism for senior undergraduate students at Capital Normal University to visit Ohio University and conduct research with faculty members in MCB. In addition MCB faculty have traveled to Capital Normal University as visiting faculty and taught a short course on a topic related to their research. The future goals of this program will be to increase collaborative research and educational activities between the two institutions, faculty and students.

Established in 1954, Capital Normal University is a key university in Beijing and is supported by the Beijing “211” Project. CNU is a comprehensive university that focuses on teacher training and encompasses liberal arts, sciences, engineering, management, law and education. It is currently expanding to be an international research institute dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement.

Meet the Capital Normal Students

Siqi Shen: “I am a senior undergraduate student from Beijing, China. I study biotechnology at Capital Normal University. In the beginning of my sophomore year, I joined the 1st Capital Normal University Research Oriented Training Program where I began investing the function of the enzyme Uev1A in human breast cancer migration, invasion and metastasis. I studied a novel downstream target of Uev1A which is critical for its metastatic role. Furthermore, I spent several months studying the N-6-Methyladenosine in RNA in Dr. Chuan He/Guifang Jia’s Lab in PKU. I also studied drosophila stem cell model in Dr. Yan Song’s Lab in PKU. Discovering unknown things by doing sciences inspired me to pursue a career in science.

“The top research environment and research facility at Ohio University attracted me to apply for MCB/CNU Research Scholars Program. I am currently working in Dr. Shiyong Wu’s lab, participating in the research titled ‘The impact of radiotherapy on cancer invasiveness and metastasis.’ I am focusing on the regulation of a specific kind of integrin after ionizing radiation. The challenging part and also the most interesting part to me is how to design experiments to figure out the mechanism underlying the research results. My goal is to learn how to work independently, doing small research project and analyzing the results critically. This experience will be helpful for my future in scientific research.”

He Zhang: “I am from Beijing China. I am currently an undergraduate student at Capital Normal University, where I am majoring in Life Sciences. As a student at CNU I had the opportunity to participate in research studies about actinomycetes and learned more about microbiology.

“I think science is a magical thing. I feel good when I can learn something new, and you are always learning a lot of new things when you are doing scientific research. Sometimes research is not just research; you can get tips for your own life, when you study about science.

“I applied to participate in the MCB/CNU Research Scholars program to have the opportunity to go abroad and learn science. This program was a good chance for me. Always take the chance! Ohio University is in a small quiet town that will allow me to focus on conducting research.

“Currently I am working in Dr. Grijalva’s lab. We are working on T. Cruzi. It is a kind of parasite that can cause Chagas disease. We are trying to find a way to purify these parasites. I am working on the cell clones which is a way to get parasites’ isolated.

“While at Ohio University I hope to improve my English especially in using biology terminology. I am also excited to learn more about Chagas disease.”

Lingyu Zhang: “I am Lingyu Zhang from Beijing, China. I am a senior student major in Biotechnology at Capital Normal University and now participating the MCB/CNU Research Scholars Program at Ohio University.

“Previously at CNU, I studied the role of leaf character of transgenic rice on physiological, cytological and molecular levels. Then I had an opportunity to do some research on gene expression changes in pancreatic cancer at Tsinghua University, there I conducted experiments through some basic methods such as PCR and Western Blotting. These experiences fired me up with keenness on molecular and cellular biology, especially in field of human cancer.

“In order to broaden my horizon and receive a more advanced education, I participated in the MCB/CNU Research Scholars Program at OU. Currently I am working in Dr. Xiaozhuo Chen’s lab and receiving the scientific training through a research project titled “Metabolic and gene expression changes in lung cancer cells as potential targets for cancer treatment.” Chen’s lab has investigated much on the roles of glucose transport and glucose metabolism in diabetes and cancer development. The possibilities of using these as targets for novel and effective anticancer and antidiabetes therapies have also been studied. My current project aims to use the human lung cancer cell line A549 to elucidate the roles of ATP transport and ATP metabolism in tumorigenesis and in cancer treatment, involving cultivating cancer and normal cells, performing relevant assays to analyze some key factors in energy homeostasis and cancer growth signaling pathways. Now I am extremely fascinated by these innovative experiments.

“Without a doubt, there are many challenges to stay abroad. It is very different in culture and language between China and America. However, I consider the exchange experience at OU as a good investment for my future. I have learned a lot about patience, devotion and innovation spirits, which are essential to scientific research work. Although the program will last for only six months, it still offers me a great opportunity to improve my English, especially in biology field, and to develop other abilities such as cooperation, management and critical thinking, which are of great help in my future work and life.”




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