“It was a thrilling experience to know what opportunities and challenges people face outside my country, their traditions and lifestyles, their definitions of humanity, etc. The impact of YYGS is long-lasting.”
After YYGS, I joined the NUDT collegiate iGEM team. The team was engineering hepatic cells for glycemic homeostasis regulation and was recruiting one high school student for their team.
A lot of work awaited: from circuit design, experimental design, method verification, modeling, and prediction, to functional verification, result sorting, and web page design. As a rising junior, I was stunned by the complexity of the job – how can one possibly perform all the tasks? But again, I came to realize that anything can be done by teamwork and collaboration; not a single team member is alone. We divided the work and our members into “wet lab” and “dry lab.” Members of the dry lab went to different hospitals to conduct surveys. Coding experts wrote short instructions to teach everyone else how to write easy HTML. We collaborated with the local red cross to give lectures on diabetes and collect feedback. We even worked with another university team to compile a lab manual.
Our hard work paid off: my team offered a new possible approach towards tackling diabetes and was announced collegiate gold medal and track award nomination for foundational advance. During these “iGEM days,” I gained friendship, knowledge, and the courage to speak in front of the public about what I fight for.