I was born in Shanghai, China and completed my college education there. I came to the U.S. in 1986 for graduate study, and received my M.S. degree from the University of Hawaii, Monoa, and my Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago. In 1995 I joined Elaine Fuchs’s lab at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, experiencing a rather dramatic switch in research direction from bacterial molecular biology to mammalian epithelial biology. In 1999 I started my own lab as an assistant professor here at UC Irvine within the Department of Biological Chemistry. My past training in diverse disciplines has helped me build a lab that employs a multidisciplinary approach to tackle interesting biological questions.
As a mother of three, balancing family life and academic career has always been an important part of my life. I thoroughly experience and enjoy every aspect of both worlds, and hope to be able to inspire young scientists who strive for a productive career and a balanced life.
My research program is currently funded by extramural grants from NIH/NIAMS (R01), NIH/NIGMS (R01), DOD (Trainee fellowship), CBCRP (Trainee fellowship), as well as institutional funding from UC CRCC and NIH Systems Biology of Development Trainining Grant (Trainee support).
I am a faculty member in the following programs on UCI campus:
Organized Reserach Units:
Chao Family Cancer Center (http://www.cancer.uci.edu/)
Cancer Research Institute (http://www.cri.bio.uci.edu/)
Developmental Biology Center (http://dbc.bio.uci.edu/)
Stem Cell Research Center (http://stemcell.uci.edu/)