What is your role at the college?
I am an assistant professor in the division of pharmaceutical sciences at the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. My major responsibilities can be divided into two aspects: 1. Education, I teach courses in PharmD program and train PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. 2. Research, I study skin and hair follicles. Specifically, the focus of our research is to discover 1) the molecular mechanisms that govern skin and hair follicle development, homeostasis and repair and 2) the molecular causes underlying the pathologic changes of skin and hair follicles in different skin diseases.
Why is it important to study skin sciences?
There are inadequate and disappointing treatments for many hair growth disorders, skin diseases as well as wound repair which will not be significantly improved until a true understanding of molecular events underlying organ morphogenesis, regeneration and malignant transformation can be reached. Therefore, there is a critical need for both basic scientists and clinicians to carry out research in this field and deepen the understanding of the development, growth, pigmentation and regeneration of skin and hair follicles.
Why did you chose this area of research … what is the most interesting to you about it?
The skin is truly miraculous and skin research is really rewarding for both researchers and patients. What attracts me most to skin science is the need to decipher a diversity of cellular interactions and molecular cross-talks that are related to both healthy and abnormal conditions in order to discover and design better diagnostic and treatment strategies for our skin and hairs.
What is your educational background?
I obtained my PhD in molecular biology in South China University of Technology and then received extensive training in the field of dermatological research at the department of dermatology, University of Pennsylvania. After that, I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to join UC and become a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy.
You’ve been in Cincinnati about four years now. Where is your favorite place in the city?
I guess my favorite place is my laboratory in Wherry Hall, where I spent most of my time. Joking aside, my favorite place is Sharon Woods, which is beautiful place for outdoor exercise. I like to go there with my kids and jog together along the trails on weekends.
Do you have any hobbies or something you do outside of work that interests you?
Yes, I do. My biggest hobby for now is to play with my little 2-year-old daughter after dinner every day. Beyond that, I like playing soccer and table tennis (pingpong) with my son. I am a Juventus (Italian football) fan for almost 30 years. All these things are how I relax after work.