“Hi, my name is Serena, nice to meet you!” I feel this was a kind of introduction of myself a long time ago, which sounds formal and exotic to me.
“Oh, nice to meet you! What is your Chinese name? My name is Richard.”
“My Chinese name is Xiao-Li. Sorry if it is hard to pronounce, just call me Serena.”
“Xiaoli. I can pronounce it, as we have had a Xiaolan in our lab for more than 10 years, everyone can pronounce it. Do you want me to call you Serena or Xiaoli?”
“Which ever one you’d like.”
“Then I would like to call you Xiaoli.”
I still remember very clearly that it was my first time introducing myself to a lab co-worker. I was worried that my name was too hard to pronounce for an American. However, I realized I should not think that way.
So, this is Xiaoli Du from National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the biggest institutes at the National Institutes of Health. I am so happy to have a blog here to share my life and working experience with all of you. In the past five years, I studied at the Cancer Institute/Cancer Hospital of Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Science majoring in Cell Biology. Beijing, the capital of China, is a great place to study and live. My slogan in graduate school was “Study hard and play hard.” I have published two articles as the first author in good cancer related journals. Meanwhile, I had a small concert for myself in my graduation ceremony. I loved the life in Beijing, as not only did I enjoy research, but I also liked a lot of my hobbies like singing and dancing. To me, that is the real life.
After graduation, I applied as a postdoc to NCI, a place where the most interesting and no-rush science comes from, a place where most support for cancer research comes from, and a place where scientists from all over the world work together to fight for a better life for human beings. Now, I am studying tumor suppressor gene functions in lung cancer. The decision of doing research in USA has dramatically changed my life.
I have felt isolated in a place where I cannot meet very close friends, where I cannot enjoy typical delicious home food, where I have to make friends with all new people, and where I have to confront a new culture and fit myself to a diverse society. Beginning is not that easy, especially for me, who has never been out of my home country before. However, I am happy and brave to face any challenges in life, even if the process may be painful sometimes. Now I am enjoying life here very much! If you have something to share with me, please comment and we can discuss together!