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Qianting Zhang, 90s Newcomer PhD Supervisor


Qianting Zhang

2007-2017 Undergraduate degree, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University

2017-2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Gothenburg

2020.4 Assistant Professor, Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh (ZJE)

She focuses on signal regulation and molecular mechanisms during mammalian gametogenesis or tumourigenesis using mammalian cells, gene-edited mouse models and human samples.

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In her long academic journey,  Qianting  Zhang never imagined she would have an unbreakable bond with Zhejiang University - obtaining her bachelor's and doctoral degrees, building a family, and returning as an independent researcher at the Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh (ZJE). At every turning point in life, she coincidentally encountered Zhejiang University's proactive establishment of new academic institutions, providing favorable conditions and flexible space for individuals like Teacher Zhang to pursue their life ambitions.

In response to the needs of the new era, where world-class university construction and the globalization of education and research are essential, Zhejiang University established an international campus in Haining, offering Teacher Zhang another opportunity and the confidence to return to her alma mater. She says, "I have always chosen Zhejiang University because opportunities kept coming my way. Additionally, many mentors, friends, and advisors at Zhejiang University have been instrumental in propelling my career forward."

Research has always been Qianting  Zhang's pursuit, and her path in early-stage tumor development and the molecular mechanisms of mammalian gametogenesis, especially during 2018 and 2019, led to the publication of numerous articles in renowned journals like Nature Cell Biology. To outsiders, it may seem like an extraordinary amount of energy and time to achieve so much in just two years. Yet, Qianting  Zhang modestly attributes it to "coincidence." She says, "Each research project has a long cycle, such as my work with gene knockout mice, where good samples appeared in the past two years, and that's when the articles were published." She further emphasizes that research is not a solo effort; it requires continuous dedication, hard work, and contributions from numerous collaborators at every stage.

For many, research may appear tedious and unexciting, a sentiment shared by Qianting  Zhang when she first entered university. She initially chose biology due to her passion for the subject, but she initially had doubts and uncertainties about research. Nevertheless, she firmly believed in "loving what you do" and persevered in improving her expertise. When faced with challenges in research projects, she approached problems with a rational mindset, conquered her negative emotions, and sought solutions. She stresses the importance of being open to changing directions when necessary, emphasizing the value of timely communication with mentors and considering problems from different angles.

Qianting  Zhang believes that research and education complement and are inseparable from each other. Having top-notch scientists and significant advancements in research is important, but it is equally crucial to prioritize the cultivation of excellent students and research professionals. Disseminating advanced scientific concepts systematically and enhancing the creativity of the entire research team is essential for maintaining international competitiveness and becoming pioneers in the forefront of life sciences.

As an Assistant Professor, Qianting  Zhang's role includes helping the institute design cutting-edge, technology-driven professional courses and exploring diversified higher education models. Beyond the classroom, she mentions that thanks to the rich educational model, many students have a strong foundational knowledge and different perspectives on classroom discussions. They actively participate and often provide unique insights, which is why she loves teaching.