Well, here goes my face.
My name is Lishu, and I am a third-year Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Pharmacology & Toxicology. My research is centered in the field of cancer epigenetics, more specifically epigenetic therapies for pancreatic cancer.
But you already knew that from just my Medium profile.
So, who exactly am I?
I was born and raised in China, a country that needs no introduction.
Slowly inching towards my 4th year of graduate school, I’ve been thinking about grad school lately, and how 2020 and to an extent this year brought about doubts and challenges I had never in a million years thought I’d encountered. A lot of thoughts are flowing, but there has been no output because life has been taking over. So I forced myself to stop, think and learn.
It’s a weird belief, really, that getting a Ph.D. is not only an academic challenge, but also a socially draining crusade to the frontier of knowledge. We are expected to conduct independent research…
(Side note: my parents don’t understand English well, but you bet I will be translating this letter full in Mandarin and sending it their way.)
Hi Ma and Pa-
How time flies. 2021 will mark the 7th year I’ve been living almost full-time in the United States pursuing my various degrees. On January 6, the Americans were going about their electoral procedure to hopefully put a whirlwind of 4 years behind. Other than the rather ideological significance, it was supposedly a normal day.
Until it wasn’t.
On January 6, I logged on to Twitter to pure terror — to individuals…
In the living room, Eddie was gathering the last of the food supplies and throwing them into a big fabric bag slumping next to the front door. His lean figure was obscured to a gray swatch in the shades with his faded Levi’s, dust-tinted sneakers, and ill-fitting stone-colored jacket that squeaked to his movements. In the bedroom, Eddie had earlier sprawled everything all over the bed — he always packed by stuffing everything into whatever luggage he was taking. It was quite a feat to be proud of.
At the other end of the bedroom, there was Sara. She was…
First of all, happy 2021!
While many of us had been more than ready to throw 2020 in the trash and welcome 2021 with open arms, I find myself pausing a whole lot and thinking back through those moments I wish we would never return to.
As we were forced to slow down and be shut in with our own thoughts, reflection has held special importance amongst the chaos. As we close in on the brink of a new normal, parts of the pandemic will forever stick with us.
Despite how much you want to forget this hellhole of a…
In that short time span, we went through a quarantine-heavy pandemic, a loss of more than a million global citizens, an unprecedented but much-needed racial reckoning in the United States, a total revamp of how learners around the world access knowledge, and the most important of all, a test of human resilience through difficult times.
This shitshow of a year has turned me into the absolute personification of a potato. And as a graduate student whose research was thrown into disarray, I, for one, need to reset myself for a clean slate to take on the new year now that…
Testing out short-form publication:)
Last night, a casual dinner conversation between my boyfriend and me quickly turned into a full-blown existential crisis. The unknowns of my PhD career, the isolation…
Are you thinking about getting a graduate degree in life sciences and wondering what a day in that life is like?
Well, here is a day in my life as a Ph.D. student in pharmacology & toxicology.
I should preface this by saying that this is one of the many bad days I’ve had in 2020, but 2020 has been like a roller coaster for everyone. By no means is this an ideal or typical day. I hope, by sharing this, to offer a glimpse into the struggles of a Ph.D. …
Random thought #3
Afternoon, Wednesday, September 9.
I was working on a section of a review article I had promised my PhD mentor by Friday. It was just an ordinary day — slightly rainy and cool outside, but perfect cozy indoors for a work session curled up in my armchair with a cup of blistering hot tea.
Then, my phone rang. It was a college friend I hadn’t talked to on the phone since we both graduated in 2018. …
The unexpected benefits from training as a beginner runner
If you’ve read my previous experiment, where I tracked every minute of my life for 5 months, you may have noticed that I enjoy methodically ‘torture’ myself to optimize my time and way of life. Hah! Just kidding — I experimented with different techniques on myself because I needed to know how best to distribute time and energy for my career goals. Right now, it’s getting my PhD. Doing a PhD is always a marathon, not a sprint.
This time, I tried and was able to sustain the habit of running…