As a current Master’s student in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Yuchen is committed to advancing our understanding of ovarian cancers through innovative research. Yuchen obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from UBC in 2022, where he honed his scientific skills. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors through activities such as hiking, snowboarding, and boating, and loves to capture these experiences through photography. His motto in life is “Try everything”, and he brings this spirit of curiosity and exploration to all aspects of his work and personal life. 

1. What kind of research are you working on? What led you to pursue this area of research?

I am currently working on discovering the signaling pathways that potentially steer the oncogenic transformation and progression of ovarian cancers, as well as generating an ex-vivo model with an enriched microenvironment for ovarian cancer research. This area of research is important because ovarian cancer is the most deadly gynecologic disease that often goes undetected until it is in its late stages. By better understanding the molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer and developing new models for research, we can work towards earlier detection and more effective treatments for this devastating disease. 

2. What is the most exciting thing about your work?

The most exciting thing about my work is that it has the potential to improve our understanding of ovarian cancers, develop more effective screening and treatment options, and ultimately, reduce the impact of this serious and life-threatening disease. Knowing that my work could contribute to making a positive difference in the lives of patients with ovarian cancer is incredibly motivating and rewarding. Additionally, I feel grateful to work in an environment where everyone is helpful, and the workplace is respectful. It creates a positive atmosphere that enables us to work collaboratively and effectively toward our common goal of advancing ovarian cancer research.

3. How does the your team support you in your career journey?

My team is incredibly supportive of my career journey in several ways. Everyone in our team treats themselves as a learner, regardless of their level of experience. This means that we are all open to learning from each other and sharing knowledge, which creates a collaborative and supportive atmosphere. When we encounter problems or challenges, we work together to find solutions and overcome them. This not only helps us to address the immediate issue but also develops our problem-solving skills and strengthens our team dynamics. We also support each other, academically and emotionally. We celebrate each other’s achievements, offer constructive feedback, and provide emotional support when needed. This supportive environment creates a positive workplace culture that enables us to grow and succeed together.

4. What is your long-term career goal?

My long-term career goal is to integrate computer science with pathology. Pathology provides invaluable insights into many diseases, but the field can be greatly enhanced with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). By developing AI tools that can assist with the analysis of medical images and large amounts of biological data, we can improve the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis and treatment for patients, as well as accelerate drug development. After completing my master’s degree, I plan to develop more computer science skills and integrate them with my pathology background. Ultimately, I hope to contribute to the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments that can improve patient outcomes and enhance our overall understanding of disease processes.

5. Name at least one person to send appreciation message? and why? (Not including your supervisors 🙂

I would like to send an appreciation message to my parents and grandparents. My parents have been a constant source of support and encouragement throughout my life. They have always believed in me, and their unwavering support has helped me overcome many challenges and achieve my goals. They have provided me with an opportunity to study at UBC, and I am grateful for the sacrifices they have made to make it possible. My grandparents, who are all medical doctors, have had a significant influence on my career path. Growing up, I was taught to have a benevolent heart and strive toward the goal of “curing diseases and saving people”. This instilled in me a strong interest in medicine, and their passion for medicine has inspired me to pursue a career in this field.