Work on New Projects without Switching Your Job
Interview with IdeaConnection Problem Solver Jianli Xue
Jianli Xue is a research scientist at the State Food and Drugs Administration, Nanjing branch. Her PhD is in microbiology and her principal field is translational research of microbial pathogenesis.
In addition to her scientific work Jianli has a passion for sharing knowledge and teaching, and mentors undergraduate and graduate students. Here she talks about her experience as an IdeaConnection Problem Solver and what she enjoys about being a scientist.
When I first started as a scientist I was very curious about how microbes work and function. Then I realized the significance of the diseases caused by microbes so I started to focus on the pathogenesis of microbial disease, specifically diseases caused by viruses; the final goal being to combat diseases which are caused by microbes.
Life is all about learning. Hopefully I can learn something every day until I die. That fresh feeling keeps you going. I really like to read about new technologies and learn new things or cook new food and it's all about just learning. So being a scientist I get all the good education and knowledge, so I can understand a lot of things faster and learn new things. Also as a scientist you have to keep updated on technology and to keep reading about new stuff. That's something that really excites me.
Working with IdeaConnection
A very good friend, Karthik Krishnan introduced me to IdeaConnection, and I’m amazed by this platform. Everything is organized and clear and the people are very reachable. Also, I find more opportunities here than other similar websites.
I worked on a challenge that looked for a new approach to control plant diseases. The aim was to stop bacterial infection by adding either chemicals or using a genetic approach. We won a partial award and I received $2,700.
Being a Team Player
I learned a lot from the process of being in a virtual team. You can meet new people, work with new people and work on new projects without switching your job. That is very exciting. At the beginning of the process some team members had some disagreements, but at the end everybody arrived at the same strategy and I learned a lot about how people cooperate and work with each other.
I had a little difficulty at first because some chemistry knowledge was required and I have a very solid background in microbiology. Our team consisted of two chemists and two biologists, and the chemists were able to help. So we did work together. I actually enjoyed the whole experience. It was very enjoyable talking to them every week during our meeting.
Arriving at a Solution
When I applied for solving this challenge I did a quick literature search. The topic had two parts. One required a chemistry solution and the other a biology solution. I think I kind of knew which direction I wanted to go with the biology solution, but I had no idea about the chemistry. So that's when the other two chemists came to help so at the end we had a complete solution involving both chemistry and biology.