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Young Investigator Spotlight: Li-Chin Yao, Ph.D.

Young Investigator Spotlight: Li-Chin Yao, Ph.D.

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network recently provided ten $1,000 scholarships for young investigators (PhD students and postdocs) to defray registration and travel costs associated with attending a major international conference dedicated to lymphatic research in 2014, including the Gordon Research Conference: Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease.

Li-Chin Yao, Ph.D. was one of our award recipients who attended the Gordon Research Conference. We asked Dr. Yao to share some of her thoughts and experiences with us.

"The Lymphatic GRC was a great place to meet scientists in the lymphatic field," Dr. Yao told us. "I was impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm for this conference and by their willingness to share their research experience, protocols, and even reagents. I gained knowledge about the most up-to-date lymphatic research, received informative feedback on my poster, and formed friendships with attendees. I was inspired by their belief in collaborative research and supportive communication."

We also asked Dr. Yao what her research interests are, what she believes lies ahead, and why she believe lymphatic disease research is so important. "My goal is to become an independent researcher and to continue studying lymphatic biology in health and disease, with a particular interest in the respiratory system," Dr. Yao said. "I hope that my research can assist the lymphatic research community in finding safe and effective treatments for lung diseases associated with lymphatic malformations. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in immune surveillance, homeostasis, and cancer metastasis. Understanding lymphatic biology is important to unraveling the details of many disease processes. Likewise, targeting drugs to the lymphatics is an emerging therapeutic strategy. Considering that there is so much to learn about lymphatic biology and that little is known about the role the lymphatics play in disease, lymphatic research should promise to identify treatments for many disorders."

Dr. Yao received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Cell Biology from the University of California, Irvine, and is currently doing post-doctoral work in Vascular Biology at the University of California, San Francisco. We wish Dr. Yao success in her pursuits, as we believe her work has the potential to benefit us all. And we thank her for taking the time to tell us a bit about her research and her experience at the Gordon Research Conference. We look forward to keeping in touch with Dr. Yao and following her in what promises to be a rewarding and productive career.