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ZJE undergraduate student published a review article in the international journal Oncogene


Recently, the research group of Dr. Liu Jian from Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute (ZJE) published a review article titled “Neutrophils in Cancer: Dual Roles through Intercellular Interactions” in Oncogene, a classic oncology journal of the Nature Publishing Group (SCI Q1). Dr. Jian Liu is the corresponding author of this article. Undergraduate student Xinyu Yu from ZJE is the first author. The article elucidates the dual roles of neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment (TME) from the perspective of cell-cell interactions and summarizes two therapeutic strategies targeting the anti-tumor and pro-tumor abilities of neutrophils. Access to the publication: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41388-024-03004-5

As the first author of the article, Xinyin Yu entered Jian Liu's lab for research training early in her undergraduate studies. At the first meeting in the lab, she listened to her senior sister's systematic report on the topic of neutrophils, from which she learned that in the context of tumours, neutrophils have two sides: they can both suppress and promote cancer development. This started her path of learning and researching about neutrophils. Through long-term knowledge accumulation, nearly half a year of writing and repeated revisions, the article was finally published. Looking back on her journey, Yu feels that the training of students' scientific writing ability in the ZJE and the help of professors and siblings to her are all indispensable factors for the publication of the article.

This was my first encounter with knowledge beyond textbooks, and the discovery did not align with my understanding of neutrophils. I was shocked and intrigued, "Could the body's own immune cells actually promote tumor development?" After the meeting, I researched related materials and followed many relevant WeChat accounts, gradually learning about many cutting-edge discoveries through their posts. Given my interest, I chose literature on cancer-related neutrophils for the lab's monthly article recommendations, accumulating considerable knowledge over time. Later, a casual conversation with a senior inspired me to write a review article. Considering my familiarity with the field and the ample time in my freshman year, and ZJE's emphasis on training students' research writing skills (having written several small essays before), I started writing the article with Professor Liu's support after receiving his encouragement.

I began writing in June during my freshman summer vacation and completed the text in August. The article was submitted in November and accepted in March of the following year. This period was incredibly meaningful for me. In June, on a green train from Chongqing to Beijing, I couldn't get a sleeper ticket and had to sit for 18 hours. Unable to sleep, I spent the night writing the article's framework and organizing the hundreds of references I had collected. Given the considerable workload, I complained more than once to my labmates, "I never want to write a review again in my life," but I persevered with their encouragement and help. During the National Day holiday, I chose to stay at the North Campus to meticulously create the figures for the paper, spending an entire day on each figure. Before submission, Professor Liu and my seniors patiently helped me review and revise the article. Fortunately, the article was eventually published in Oncogene, an outcome I had never imagined before the review process.

I sincerely thank Professor Liu for his consistent support, my labmates for their patience and help, and the research group for educating and training me. I am fortunate to be at ZJE, where the liberal environment and rich educational resources have given me the opportunity to engage closely with scientific research.

As a member of the ZJEers, Yu has realised ZJE's talent cultivation model of "whole-person training, global immersion and whole-chain practice". ZJE will continue to provide a fertile ground for future leaders in the medical field and cultivate the international talents needed for the development of the world's medical and healthcare industry.

About Jian Liu’s lab

Jian Liu's group is now interested in investigating lung squamous cell carcinoma development and treatment using genetic mouse models and AI+ multi-omics, especially the research direction on cancer immunology and the 3D genome. He has published over 50 papers, including publications in the past three years, as a co-corresponding author in Nature Communications, Advanced Science, Oncogene, Molecular Oncology, and Frontiers in Immunology journals. Moreover, his lab developed a multi-omics web database Omics3D (http://omics3d.net/) to investigate the de novo functional genome during cancer development.


Jian Liu’s lab (https://person.zju.edu.cn/liujian) is recruiting postdoc and Ph.D. students, including the single degree from the University of Edinburgh