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Dialogue@ZJU: With ZJU women scientists


[Editor’s Note: The world needs science and science needs women. More and more women are shining in the field of scientific research, driving technological progress and making the world a better place. For ZJU, female researchers are an important force to promote high-quality development of ZJU with their innovative potential and resilience. Today is International Women’s Day. Let's listen how they say as female researchers and what advice they have for girls who aspire to pursue an academic career.]

Sue Welburn, Executive Dean of the ZJU-UoE Institute

Prof. Welburn’s remarkable journey from the Tsetse Research Laboratories in Bristol to her pivotal role at the University of Edinburgh, where she established the Global Health Academy in 2009, showcases a relentless pursuit of excellence and impact. Her research, which has significantly contributed to the understanding of the transmission of human sleeping sickness, is complemented by her hands-on involvement in disease control projects across Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and Tanzania. 


“You should think there's no limit to what you can do. In my experience, the biggest thing holding women back is thinking that they're not good enough. You're definitely good enough. You're more than good enough. The only thing stopping you from achieving your goals is your own insecurity.”



HU Hailan, Dean of School of Brain Science and Brain Medicine, School of Medicine

Prof. HU’s research focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms behind emotional and social behaviors, with a particular interest in dominance hierarchy and depression. She has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award and the IBRO-Kemali International Prize.


“In this age with rapid changes, you never know what will be the social favorite three months later, but there are reliables and dependables in science in the many years to come. The self-esteem built upon science is much more reliable than the self-esteem built upon the so-called mainstream images. So if you love science, do not be afraid to become a scientist!”



ZHAO Xuehong, Deputy Director of the Department of Nursing, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine


Recipient of the 49th Nightingale Medal, ZHAO has consistently displayed exceptional courage and dedication in the face of disastrous situations such as SARS, the Wenchuan earthquake, H1N1 influenza, H7N9 avian influenza, the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, and the COVID-19 pandemic. With love, attentiveness, patience, and a sense of responsibility, she has illuminated the nursing profession with the brilliance of humanity.

“As the saying goes, “Successors excel their predecessors”. I hope that young nursing students can stick to their original aspirations and keep their missions in mind, learn more, practice more, think more and communicate more. I believe the sense of fulfillment that arises from helping patients to alleviate their pain and restore their health can overcome all difficulties.”


WU Dan, Tenure-track Professor, College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrument Science


Prof. WU's research focuses on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) acquisition techniques and neuroimage processing methods. Particularly, she is an expert on diffusion MRI, including high-resolution MRI pulse sequences and microstructural modeling methods. Her achievements have been recognized by many accolades, including the Innovator Under 35 China by MIT Technology Review in 2019, the Young scientists of World Economic Forum in 2020, and the Outstanding Young Researcher of the Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering in 2020.


“Use a strong and soft heart to explore the future, feel warmth and care for life. As for how to balance career and family, we must be a trade-off with higher efficiency and better time arrangement. And the key to developing good habits is to do critical tasks at critical times. Although I cannot often be by my child's side, my hard-working look can be a role model and a positive force for my child's growth.”



LU Yingying, Professor, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Prof. LU focuses her research on lithium batteries and electrochemical conversion. She was featured on the list of the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 China and the list of Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia for research achievements.


“I support women in becoming housewives, and I support women in joining the workforce. But you have to make your own decision, not being told by others. It would be great for a woman to think independently and find her own path.

In general, it’s not easy for women to manage work-family balance. Women are more likely to face tradeoffs between personal role and productive role. But I still believe if career and family are balanced well, women can pull off on both sides.”

Dr. Hyeon Jeong Lee, Assistant Professor, College of Biomedical Engineering & Instrument Science

Dr. Hyeon Jeong Lee’s research interests center on biomedical photonics, cell metabolism, tumor biology, and neuroscience. She has published over 22 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals such as Nature Photonics, Cell Metabolism, Nature Communications, Science Advances, and Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, invited to write 3 book chapters, and published over 10 international conference proceedings. She was invited to present at the international conferences and won multiple awards. Her research accomplishments were recognized through multiple awards, including the Innovator Under 35 Asia Pacific by MIT Technology Review in 2021, and Optica Ambassador in 2022.

“The advice I want to give for girls who want to pursue an academic career is that make sure this path is something you believe in, and devote yourself completely. And at the same time, put efforts to make a team. Because you are not alone, many things require teamwork to accomplish.”


CHANG Dan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering

Dr. CHANG focuses her research on the reversible assembly and application of nano-carbon materials, and has made groundbreaking achievements in this regard. She discovered the precisely reversible fusion and fission properties of graphene oxide macroscopic materials, proposed the mechanism of deformation in the assembly process, and expanded the application scope of reversible assembly in high-performance structural materials and controllable release. She was selected for the 2021 Future Women Scientist Program.


“In order to become a scientist, girls may make an effort from three aspects. Firstly, finding the research direction and enjoying the scientific research. Secondly, it will be useful to improve work efficiency and stay focused. Thirdly, it is better to plan the future career and strive to gain knowledge and make creation during the study procedure. These points also act as the criteria that I aim to achieve.”

Editor: HAN Xiao ('25 PhD, Education), TIAN Minjie