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Student Profile in Innate Immunity and Human Diseases

Cong Xing

Immunology Graduate Program

Mentor: Nan Yan, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: Biomedical Sciences
Undergraduate Institution: Wuhan University
Hometown: Nantong, Jiangsu, China
Awards/Fellowships: Undergraduate: Excellent Bachelor’s Degree Thesis, Wuhan University Scholarship for International Communications, Wuhan University Award for Outstanding Student, Wuhan University Scholarship for Freshman in Sciences

Cong Xing

How did you become interested in science and/or research?

I was always fascinated by the beauty of nature when I was taking science class as a kid, and my intuition led me to choose Biological Sciences as major in college. I took the opportunity to join a lab in the summer of my sophomore year to study innate immunity of macrophages, which turned out to be fun and enjoyable. The simple joy and sense of accomplishment of discovering interesting things in the nature and presenting it to people who love science make me excited and decided to peruse a PhD.

Please describe your research.

I study the role of innate immunity in human diseases. The disturbance of the immune system is related either directly or indirectly to various human diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurological disorders. My project is focused on investigating the innate immune mechanisms that regulate these diseases and discovering molecular targets for potential therapeutic development.

Why did you choose UT Southwestern?

UT Southwestern creates a great environment for interdisciplinary research. With more than 400 labs spanning various biomedical research areas, it offers easy access to seeking collaboration. When I worked as a research intern here at UT Southwestern, I was able to learn techniques from labs with completely different research directions, and help others with my own expertise as well. I was fascinated by this supportive and friendly environment and decided to pursue a PhD at UT Southwestern.

What do you think makes the Immunology Program one of the best?

The Immunology Graduate Program at UT Southwestern has a well-established curriculum which grounds students in the basics of immunology and encourages students to develop research questions. The affiliated faculty includes experts in immunology, microbiology, cancer biology, and neuroimmunology, which offers a great opportunity for collaboration and teamwork. With all these factors, I believe the Immunology Program at UTSW will help students become outstanding scientists

What do you love about the Immunology Program?

The Immunology Graduate Program at UT Southwestern creates a supportive and friendly environment for PhD study. From faculty, postdocs, technicians, to students, everyone here is ready to help you out should you confront any struggles. I really appreciate the supportive environment here and I believe it will make the challenging path to PhD enjoyable.

– Cong Xing

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