Jingyi Yang profile photo

What influenced your decision (personal and professional) to become a scientist in this field?

I spent two years in college working on an independent project in my lab and I thought I learnt more from working on the project than taking a class. Since then I have really enjoyed doing research. After doing research, I have talked to many other scientists who are really inspiring and always have incredible passion for science. Working with passionate people is one of the reasons that made me decide to go to graduate school after graduation.

What are your greatest achievements thus far?

I have started projects in my two labs and made some progress. I have learnt a lot about my subject – which I had no background before I joined the lab. Besides, I have met many incredible students and faculty who always inspire me to do better science.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?

I hope I can keep doing research either in academia or industry. Most importantly, I hope I can keep being curious about new things happening in the science world and humble to other people, which are really important qualities to a scientist.

What were the biggest professional obstacles you had to overcome? Did you ever have the impression that it would be easier/harder if you were male?

I haven't had "professional obstacles" yet but I did have some bad time-management experience when I first started grad school; to this gender is irrelevant.

Do you serve on any committees/hold leadership positions within and outside the University of Rochester (UR)? What is your impression of being a female leader in this environment?

Yes, I am part of the first-year, NGP retreat committee. I think I am very supported and don't feel that I am discriminated in any way because I am a woman.

What strategies do you use to manage both a career and private life?

I spend most of my time working in the lab during weekdays, but try to maintain a clear boundary between work and private life over the weekend. I try not to do any work before Sunday evening so I can get myself relaxed and not stressed out.

In your opinion, what changes are needed in your field, in academia, and in science in general to be more attractive to women+ in neuroscience and possible future scientists?

Definitely more acknowledgements are needed to work done by female scientists. For example, recruit more female faculty and scientists and cite more papers written by female authors.

What advice would you give to your younger self and to future scientists?

Science is hard but also supremely rewarding. You will learn a lot by doing research but don't over stress yourself by thinking about the future. Most of the time, just enjoy your experience in the lab.