Linfang Zhang joined OSCAR on July 1st, 2021, as the first Research Engineer in the OSCAR-Prenetics Innovation and Technology Centre for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics (ITC).
What scientific research work are you mainly in charge of?
Currently, I am mainly responsible for carrying out animal experiments related to molecular diagnostic techniques. Meanwhile, I’m collaborating with my colleagues to build the Nanopore sequencing platform and the single-cell Raman test platform. The so-called experimental platform building is to form and improve testing methods.
The two experimental platforms can be applied in tests relating to biomedicine, environment and microorganism with extensive application scope. The Nanopore platform can be used to conveniently and instantly conduct DNA sequencing, while the single-cell Raman test platform can be used to determine cell phenotype by analyzing the Raman spectra of the cell (Raman spectra is produced based on the mutual interactions of light and chemical bonds of materials inside cells) to get information like the composition and metabolism of the cell under the precondition that the cell used for testing will not be damaged.
Why fascinates you about scientific research?
As a large amount of new knowledge will be involved in the process of building experimental platforms, I must possess relatively strong self-learning ability. At the same time, I am required to constantly discuss with my colleagues, carry out experiments, be familiar with operations, solve problems, and set up an experimental method in the end. I enjoy this process, which gives me a sense of achievement.
This is also the main reason for me to embark on the road of doing scientific research. I am fond of exploring something new and of pursuing innovative development. I never feel that doing scientific research is boring. Instead, I am patient with it and can find a lot of fun doing it.
Scientific research has already been incorporated into my life. Since scientific research thinking is to find and solve problems, such way of thinking is also adaptable to life. For example, when facing difficulties, I can consider problems from multiple dimensions and prepare several plans for addressing them. It is fair to say that scientific research thinking can help us better respond to challenges in life.
Linfang and her colleague exchange knowledge and experience in building the platforms
As a scientific researcher just entering the workforce, what are your career goals?
I should master relevant technologies of my team, serve research teams and accomplish tasks that I take sole responsibility. After accumulating experience to a certain degree, I may want to enter a higher-level stage - taking part in a Ph.D. entrance examination to further my study.
Doing scientific research requires me to learn more sophisticated knowledge, while my study for a Ph.D. degree can further promote my experimental thinking, experimental ability and technique level. I believe that the more professional you are in your domain, the more successful you will be.
What are your comments on the theme of the International Women’s Day of breaking the bias this year?
According to my knowledge, men and women are equal without a relationship in which one side is stronger and another weaker. Women are independent, attaching to no one. Female employees working at OSCAR all are outstanding and independent.
I believe the social status of women has been rising as women have made more and more contributions to society. OSCAR prepared special gifts for us on International Women’s Day, letting me feel warm.
What is it like to do scientific research at OSCAR?
Equipment in OSCAR’s laboratories is top-notch. It has professional teams and a strong atmosphere for scientific research.
At the beginning, I had a little difficulty coping with the shift from a student to an employee of OSCAR. However, when I have a bad day or have problems with working, I would actively exchange ideas with older colleagues in my team. Meantime, I would conduct self-adjustment. Till now, I have already been able to control my work rhythm well.
Linfang and her colleagues at OSCAR
It is not easy to do scientific research, and it is harder for team members who need to strike a balance between family and work. But I can feel that all of us enjoy the process of doing scientific research as we all dive ourselves into work, showing smile on our faces. No one complains about work. The atmosphere in the laboratories is sunny and pleasant.
OSCAR offers a workplace of flexibility and latitude. This means your initiative is very much motivated, and that you’ll truly enjoy what you do to pursue a cause here at OSCAR.