early life

Shenyang is a large city in the northeast China, with a long and important history. It was the capital city of Qing dynasty before the Manchu people conquered the whole China and became a capital city again of the puppet empire, Manchuria, created by the Imperial Japan during World War Two. I was born in that city, long after all the historical dust settled, into a family of a government bureaucrat and a medical doctor between two sisters. The family was relatively well-off and enjoyed peaceful live

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We were exiled to a remote countryside for “re-education.” As a preschooler, I did not comprehend our plight, and I dreamed of a good life ahead of me. Reality, however, became painfully clear when I started school. I was singled out as a bad child from a bad family by teachers and students. I studied hard to prove myself. I especially loved the Arts and dreamed of becoming a painter. All this did not seem to lead me anywhere. Children like me and my sisters seemed doomed to stay in that cold remote village forever.

until the Cultural Revolution. My father was a man of integrity, not agood quality for a government official at the time. His honesty got him in trouble which affected the whole family.

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Change came just before I entered the high school. China began to reverse to a moderate society with some reason from its extremist policy driven society. My father was exonerated and the whole family was allowed to move back to Shenyang, the city I was born in. Regrettably dear father was never able to actually see his reputation

rectified, as he had passed away in his sleep a few months before the announcement. I wish he were able to see me beginning to dare to dream, beginning to plan for the future and especially see where I am now. Love you, dad!


Mom was a role model for me. Observing her saving patients' lives, even in the most baren environment was obviously inspirational to me. Though I seemed natural in performing art and had serious thoughts on becoming a dancer, I eventually decided on following my mom’s 

footsteps and took medical training at China Medical University, a renowned medical school in town. This is a major turning point in my life. I was geared to training for my inquisitive mind, while my passion for art would be burning at the side and always enmesh in my life.


The medical school study not only trained me in the professional field, but also heightened my academic curiosity. A strong urge grew in me to see the outside world at the same time. After the medical school, instead of going into practice, I decided to pursue a further graduate study. This time I aimed US as my place of learning. I was admitted by University of Wisconsin-Madison to its PhD program in Clinical Nutrition and Oncology.  Three and a half years later, I earned my PhD degree, with 11 research papers published in various science journals around the world. Now I came to the second cross road of my life. I need to decide whether I want to stay in academia or prepare myself for professional practice. Obviously I have chosen the latter and here I am.