An enthuastic group of EMBL alumni in China is strengthening connections thanks to an annual meeting, this year taking place in Guangzhou.
On Saturday 9 December 2023, a small, yet dedicated group of EMBL alumni will host their fourth annual meeting in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. This is a self-organised community that has grown steadily over the past few years thanks to its members’ shared fondness of their time spent at EMBL, as well as their commitment to scientific knowledge and discovery.
Of the 26 EMBL alumni based in China, around 20 are Principal Investigators (PIs) and professors from various universities and institutes, and almost all are members of the EMBL Alumni Association (EAA). The community members are spread across China, with significant numbers in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xi’an, and Beijing – and all happy to travel the distance to connect annually.
Guang-Zhong Wang, one of the event co-organisers, first connected with fellow EMBL alumni after returning to China from his studies at University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas. This connection led to the group’s first meeting in 2019 at Fudan University, Shanghai. Since then, the group, who are all connected via WeChat, have met annually at different locations across China with the agreement to return to Shanghai every five years. A highlight of the events, which start with a scientific component, is the dinner, networking and tour of cultural sites on Day 2. The community is particularly looking forward to their meeting at Guangzhou this year, where the temperatures will be milder than the rest of China, and the food a real delicacy.
The co-organisers, Weihua Chen, Weihong Li and Guang-Zhong Wang would like to invite all EMBL alumni who have returned to China or are actively working in the country, as well as the extended life sciences community to these meetings.
Meet the community
Current details: Professor, Group Leader, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan EMBL details: Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural and Computational Biology Unit, 2008-13 Greatest EMBL memory? There are countless cherished memories, from savouring the delicious croissants in the canteen to the post-lunch video game sessions, not to forget the annual unit ski retreat to Garmisch! What are you doing now? My lab focuses on precision editing of the human microbiome and applications in human health and diseases.
Current details: Tenure-track assistant professor, Principal Investigator, ShanghaiTech University EMBL details: Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural and Computational Biology Unit, 2017-2023 Greatest EMBL memory? Research was sometimes challenging but I was not alone. The EMBL Cafeteria was the place where I could chat with colleagues about my recent projects, ask for advice and seek collaborations, or just relax over a bottle of beer and get recharged to find ways out. What are you doing now? Now I continue work on an interdisciplinary field- molecular architecture of cellular condensates in tumorigenesis and anti-tumor immunity, with the ultimate goal of tackling cancer by designing/screening drugs based on this new concept.
Current details: Professor, Group Leader, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou EMBL details: Senior Software Engineer, EMBL-EBI External Services, 2007-2016 Greatest EMBL memory? Every summer, I brought my kids to the apple garden of the Wellcome Genome Campus. We happily enjoyed the sunshine and freely picked up the apples, delicious! What are you doing now? I would like to send my Chinese students to EMBL for training or visiting.
Current details: Professor, Group leader, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai EMBL details: Visiting Scientist, EMBL Grenoble, 2011-2012 Greatest EMBL memory? Build up lifetime friendship in Grenoble, love the cafeteria at the campus. What are you doing now? I am working on post-transcriptional modifications on RNAs, particularly on small noncoding RNAs, focusing on their biogenesis and molecular function, and the underlying mechanism of aberrant modifications in human disease.
Current details: Group Leader, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Attending Surgeon, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center EMBL details: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, 2016-2020 Greatest EMBL memory? Of course, the beer session on Friday and the lab retreat to Schwarzwald. What are you doing now? I would like to connect the clinical medicine and science communities, bind the people together who are from different fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Economy, Manufactory, Medicine) to foster a diverse community, a scientific Meta.
Current details: Professor, PI, Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health, CAS EMBL details: Visiting PhD student, Structural and Computational Biology Unit, 2010 Greatest memory at EMBL: The rich scientific culture at EMBL, enjoying a relaxed coffee at the downstairs café and discussing scientific questions. What are you doing now? At present, I am involved in academic research.
Current details: Distinguished Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai EMBL details: Postdoctoral Fellow, Structural and Computational Biology Unit, 2010-2011 Greatest EMBL memory? Coffee with friends after lunch to discuss “whatever” topics, and the video games with colleagues from different groups. I also appreciate the great time my daughter had in the kindergarten. What are you doing now? I’m working on omics driven brain disorder. I’d like to generate all the data that I want to use for the exploration of brain disorder.
If you would like to connect with this group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.