Visitor of the Week: Ying Zhang


Meet Ying Zhang of the Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research (Australia). The Chinese national and postdoctoral fellow is a member of Guillaume Lessene’s lab in ACRF Chemical Biology Division. Ying is with us for our meeting on Cell Death as a poster presenter.  

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
My present research is mainly focus on cell death signaling pathways, particularly, the regulation of necroptosis signaling. We primarily use live cell imaging techniques to characterize necroptosis-related biological processes.

How did you know you wanted to make this the focus of your research?
During my PhD, I was studying the mechanism of how bacterial pathogens manipulate host immune responses during infection, such as the inhibition of cell death signaling and/or inflammation signaling. From that study, I noticed how closely cell death is related with numerous diseases. Cell death signaling is incredibly complicated, and there are still many gaps in this field that remain elusive, especially the regulation of cell death during or after disease development.

How did your scientific journey begin?
During my bachelor in food science and engineering, I took a few biology courses, such as microbiology and biochemistry, and became strongly interested in them. Consequently, I started my journey in science by doing my master’s and PhD in medical biology. Scientific research work is creative and challenging. The longer I stayed in science, the more I am fascinated by it.

Was there something specific about the Cell Death meeting that drew you to attend?
CSHL conferences have a very good reputation and a lot of researchers who have been here highly recommended it for me. It is a good opportunity to meet other people in the cell death field and get to know their work. It is also a perfect platform where I can get feedback for my study.

What is your key takeaway from the meeting?
From this meeting, I learned a lot not only in my area but many others. A number of the speakers gave brilliant overviews of their topics which expanded my understanding about the research happening in cell death.

What and/or how will you apply what you’ve learned from the meeting to your work?
I learned that besides experimental work, the regulation of signaling pathways can also be studied by constructing models via computational analysis. It could be very useful to apply this in my study.

If someone curious in attending this meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I’ll definitely recommend this meeting to people who are doing cell death research. This is a conference that covers a good variety of different research topics.

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
CSHL is a very nice place to stay. Besides the conference, there are other activities we can do like go to the gym or swim. The staff here are friendly, professional and helpful.

Thank you to Ying for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.