About the PI



Current Administrative Roles at UNC: 

Associate Director, McAllister Heart Institute; 
CFAC Chair of Animal Cores;
Faculty Director, UNC Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core;
DPLM Department RAC Member


Academic experience and training:

2018-present  Associate Professor with tenure

2012-2018      Assistant Professor

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
McAllister Heart Institute
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2007-2012       Postdoctoral Fellow

Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease
University of California, San Francisco
Roddenberry Fellow
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Scholar

2001-2006       Graduate/Ph.D. Student

Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2003-2006       Visiting Graduate Student
Development and Aging Program
Sanford-Burnham Institute, La Jolla
University of California, San Diego

1997-2001       Undergraduate Student

Life Science School
Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Chun-Tsung Scholar

1994-1997      High School Student

High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University
– Provincial-Level Honor Student


2022 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring, UNC-Chapel Hill                  2022 Mentorship Appreciation, for commitment to HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Scholar Program, AHA                                                                                           2021 Emerging Investigator Award R35, NIH/NHLBI                                                           2021 Established Investigator Award, AHA                                                                              2020 EII Innovative Award, Eshelman Institute for Innovation, UNC                               2020 Yang Family Biomedical Scholar, Yang Family Society of Biomedical Scholar        2019 Named by Cell Press to be one of their best reviewers, invited to share philosophy on peer review in the special Leading Edge “Voices” article published in Cell                         2019 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, UNC           2019 Rising Star Award, 2019 Triangle Business Journal Health Care Heroes                 2018 Transformational Project Award, American Heart Association                                          2017 Outstanding Mentor Award, UNC-Chapel Hill                                                                 2017 Finalist for NYSCF-Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Awards, NYSCF                      2017 Featured at Research Features Magazine (UK)                                                               2016 Jefferson Pilot Award in Academic Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill                                         2016 McAllister Young Investigator Award, UNC-Chapel Hill                                               2016 Boyalife Award in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Science/AAAS                2016 URC Publication Award, UNC-Chapel Hill                                                                       2016 Keynote speaker, 7th Annual Translational Medicine Symposium, UNC-Chapel Hill
2016 Early Career Scientist Travel Award, The Company of Biologists
2014 5th Annual NPAW, Featured Postdoc Alumna, Gladstone Institute, UCSF
2014 MHI/Cardiology 20K Award for Cardiovascular Research, UNC-Chapel Hill
2014 Junior Faculty Development Award, UNC-Chapel Hill
2013-2017 Ellison New Scholar in Aging, The Ellison Medical Foundation
2013-2017 Scientist Development Grant (National), American Heart Association (AHA)
2013 Featured “Woman in Cardiovascular Health Care”, UNC Social Media
2012 Top 10 Advances in Heart Disease and Stroke Research (ranked #2), AHA             2012 Award for Excellence in Science, Gladstone Institute, UCSF
2011 Katz Basic Science Research Prize for Young Investigators, AHA
2011-2012 Roddenberry Fellowship, Roddenberry Foundation
2011 Above and Beyond Award, Gladstone Institute, UCSF
2011 Travel Award for 2011 International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting
2011 Travel Award for 2011 Weinstein Cardiovascular Conference, Weinstein Committee
2011 Award for Exemplary Leadership, Gladstone Institute, UCSF
2010-2011 Lynda and Stewart Resnick Fellowship, Lynda and Stewart Resnick Foundation
2010 Above and Beyond Award, Gladstone Institute, UCSF
2009-2012 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Scholarship, CIRM, California     2003-2006 American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate Pre-doctor Fellowship          2005 Graduate Student in Science Focus, The Buzz Newsletter, Burnham Institute       2005 Top 10 research articles in Current Biology, CellPress
2003 Rackham School Pre-candidate Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2002 Horace H. Rackham School Travel Grant, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor       1999-2001 Chun-Tsung Scholarship (National), Chu Tsung Endowment
1999 Inchcape HKU China Scholarship, Hong Kong University-Fudan University
1999 SUMI TOMO Corporation Scholarship (National), SUMI TOMO Corporation
1998 BaoSteel Corporation Educational Scholarship (National), BaoSteel Corporation
1997-2001 People Scholarship, Fudan University

Prior to colleague (major academic awards):

1997 Provincial Honor Student at High School Graduation                                                    1993 China National Chemistry Olympiad Competition, First Place


The biggest fun is to play with her lovely daughters Smin & Jasmin, dog Biscuit and cat Fiona.

Music:            playing “GuZheng”, piano; karaoke; pop and classic music
Art:                 sketch drawing, Chinese painting, acrylics, watercolor and oil painting
Outdoor:      skating, skiing, hiking, rock climbing and swimming


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