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2020 Predoctoral Researchers


Fanning Xia

Wuhan University

Fanning Xia originally planned to go into the medical field, but discovered she was afraid of holding a scalpel. Shifting to biology and research felt like a natural choice, allowing her to understand mechanisms in the body and improve lives in a different way.

Xia has been fascinated by biology since high school, when she realized there are a lot of questions in the scientific world that remain unanswered. Diving deeper into research, she discovered that research scientists can explore whatever questions or mysteries they’re curious about, and that the process of finding answers is pretty fun.

Born in Huangshi, China, Xia moved to Wuhan as a teenager. She attended Wuhan University for her B.S. degree. During her cell biology course, she was captivated by the protein signals that travel through organelles. Throughout her lab experiences in China, Canada, and the U.S., Xia has become more interested in understanding the inner workings of the cell, particularly membrane trafficking pathways.

Xia credits several fellow Wuhan University students for introducing her to GSSIMR and the Stowers Institute. After researching the program and visiting, she was especially attracted by the “Hope for Life” atmosphere at Stowers. She also appreciated the commitment to science, particularly the support for researchers to study what they’re passionate about.

Outside the lab, Xia is a former choir member who enjoys singing. She also loves to travel, but when spending time at home, she enjoys making dollhouse miniatures.