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Academician gives lecture on young researcher career planning

Updated: 2021-09-06

A lecture on career planning for young researchers by Academician Yan Xiyun from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Science was given at the 19th Chinese Biophysics Congress in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province on July 25. 


Academician Yan Xiyun from the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, lectures young researchers on their career planning.

She gave a report themed "finding the meaning of life in science", in which she shared stories with young scientific researchers and exchanged opinions about being a worker in the science field. Zhang Hong, secretary general of the Biophysical Society of China (BSC), presided over the lecture.

Recalling her academic experience, Yan said that she had accidentally embarked on the road of scientific research. Before going to university, Yan worked in a factory. After taking the college entrance examination in 1977, she was admitted to Henan Medical College.

To improve her professional skills after graduation, she came to the Institute of Biophysics to study, where she met her teacher Bei Shizhang (also known as Pai Shitsan, Oct 10, 1903-Oct 29, 2009). Bei was an experimental cell biologist, and a famous educator in China.

"I am very grateful to Mr Pai for his assistance and support to me," said Yan. When she first entered the institute, Yan lacked biophysics knowledge. In order to meet the needs of scientific research, Pai sent her to Peking University and Nagoya University for short-term studies. Later, under his guidance, Yan published her first paper.

On the recommendation of Pai, Yan went to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany for further study. She also studied at Heidelberg University.

Recalling that time, Yan said, "I spent all my time learning German and gaining professional knowledge. When I was homesick, I closed the door and cried in a towel. But then I discovered that instead of doing this, it's better to be a happy 'bachelor' and settle down to learn and do research."

Biophysics was originally an interdisciplinary subject. Under the influence of scholars from the institute's interdisciplinary science center and various BSC subgroups, it provided an opportunity for Yan to discover nanoenzymes.

Speaking of the meaning of life, Yan shared her thoughts. She suggested young scientists should be simple in person, stay passionate and persistent in their research work, seek truth from facts and grow into both a better scientist and person.

After the lecture, Zhang said in his speech that Yan's scientific research results are truly "start from scratch". In addition to her efforts in scientific research, her career also reflects her persistent love for science.