Xingyu Liu is puzzled by any suggestion that in Kansas City she might be homesick for her native China. Rather, she is simply excited at the prospect of working in a place where they do great science. Her worry is how she will learn to conduct good research, but she is certain she has found the place to do that.
Liu, who grew up in Tianjin, developed an interest in science in middle school, and by high school had won provincial prizes in biology and chemistry. In 2009 she enrolled at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in life sciences in 2013. As an undergrad she conducted independent neuroscience research and learned a valuable lesson in hypothesis testing when a nanoparticle treatment that she proposed might damage neurons didn’t produce the results she was expecting.
During that time she attended a summer workshop at UCLA and met a former Stowers Summer Scholar who urged her to apply to the Stowers Graduate School. Before entering the next phase of her education, she decided to seek additional opportunities for independent research. Liu interned one year at Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences and studied mRNA processing before applying to the Stowers program.Liu arrives at Stowers with a keen interest in the “big machines” that regulate transcription and RNA processing and is eager to work with investigators in that field. But she says her overall goal is to master skills known to all good scientists, namely how to pose the right questions and then answer them.