Top Ten Graduate Liu Lingjie: Finding a new challenge in cancer research
Chris Edwards | 07/31/2019

Liu Lingjie, Class of 2019, has kept a low profile while excelling within the Department of Biology. She was in high demand at the end of her bachelor’s degree, with requests from top universities around mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States all offering her the opportunity to complete her Ph.D. How has Liu Lingjie achieved this and what was her life like at SUSTech?

Liu Lingjie exudes self-confidence and restraint. In her interview, we find that she has slowly learned, despite initial struggles, before finding a clear direction for herself and ultimately making the achievements she has now made.

In high school, Liu Lingjie was a talented student, noted for her abilities in traditional cultural arts. She was highly ranked as an amateur player of the violin and the erhu (an instrument, nicknamed the Chinese violin). She chose to come to SUSTech in an attempt to find a new challenge. Her new challenge was more taxing than she anticipated, with the scientific and logical subjects clashing with her romantically inspired personality. “At the time, I felt a lot of friction between the subjects I was studying and my persona.”

While she had problems with her scientific subjects at first, it inspired Liu Lingjie to change her mindset and adapt to the new environment. While maintaining her love for classical music and calligraphy, she found peace and tranquility; this solitude helping her through troubling times.

In the second year, she tried to select her study area, as SUSTech encourages students to take general courses in their first year to identify programs of interest. “ I have always hoped to help more people with her own strength, combined with my research interests, then I decided to embark on the areas of cancer research and treatment,” said Liu Lingjie.

As a sophomore, Liu Lingjie had to make her most critical choice, in determining her future research direction. The Confucian Analects motivated her to “save the world,” by working on cancer treatment and studying bioinformatics.

She found a path when interning at City of Hope, one of the top research and treatment centers for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in the United States. With the credos of “There is no profit in curing the body if, in the process, we destroy the soul,” it is an enormous center that has been designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Liu Lingjie witnessed incredible medical technology, finding that cancer treatment needs to be significantly improved. She noted that traditional techniques are not very efficient, and bioinformatics can help society challenge cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

After her experience at the City of Hope, she has chosen to continue her academic career at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Liu Lingjie has found a love for academic research in a global arena, as a result of her time at SUSTech, despite the efforts of top universities around the world to lure her to their laboratories. She acknowledges that she has forged her own path.

Liu Lingjie said that her tutor, Professor Chen Wei, had the same research direction as her, and was a top scientist in his own right. That was a major influencing factor for her when she applied for his laboratory. It is often said that there are many crossroads in life, but it is the steps you take that are the most important. Liu Lingjie has taken many steps, and each step drips with considered thought, moving further from her original comfort zone.

Liu Lingjie acknowledges that she learned a lot in the many first year classes she took, thanks to her time management skills. Her rigorous approach ensured that she increased her TOEFL score from 82 to 106 out of 120 in just 20 days – an achievement unheard of in most

Liu Lingjie maintained a healthy extracurricular life on campus, with a strong presence as a reporter and interviewer for the Student News Agency.

She also played an important role in the Student Union, working to develop a better campus environment for students. She maintained her love for music, playing regularly with the SUSTech symphony orchestra. She did her best to live a relaxed life, believing that she would play the violin for herself, instead of others.

Liu Lingjie is one of our students who has taken the SUSTech life at its fullest. She took in general education classes, scientific classes, cultural activities and enjoyed her own personal pursuits throughout her four years at SUSTech. She pointed out that students must work hard – SUSTech can only do so much with its plentiful resources and abundant opportunities.

By being selected as a Top Ten Graduate, Liu Lingjie has shown what she has learned at SUSTech in the last four years. She has conquered her first challenge. Now she moves on to try and conquer her next, much bigger task.

Background: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is renowned as “the First Institute of the World” and the holy place of life science in the world. A total of 8 Nobel Prize winners have come from this institution.

2019, 07-31
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Graduate Stories

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByXia Yingying

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