I grew up in China, in the city of Lanzhou (big city with a history of 2500 years) in my early years and then moved to Qingdao (beautiful seaside city) in high school and got my undergraduate degree in Physics in Chengdu, Sichuan (best Chinese food ever). In 1998, I moved to Missouri and began my masters in theoretical high energy physics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and finally completed my PhD there in bio-physics under the supervision of Dr. Peter Pfeifer (dear friend and mentor forever) in May 2005.
In Fall 2005, I began a postdoc at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. That was where I transitioned to research in animal physiology, greatly inspired and guided by Dr. Geoffrey West and Dr. James Brown (life/career changing role models). Deep in my heart I am still partially a physicist though, believing in universal laws.
I worked with Dr. James Gilooly (brilliant biologist with a million ideas) at the University of Florida in Gainesville from January 2009 to August 2009. From there I began my final post-doc position at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, working with Dr. Aviv Bergman (great geneticist and philosopher). In August 2011, I became an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences of Missouri University of Science and Technology.
I am a book nerd, I have to say. Reading is the only entertainment for me, pretty much, except for watching Die Hard ^_^. I love reading history and philosophy, especially that of science. I sometimes write essays on those topics too, in Chinese though. My Chinese friends like them a lot.
Accompanying me on the long and winding road from graduate student to college professor has been my incredibly tolerant wife, Sara Effner, a native Missourian. We had our son Han a month after my graduation and the three of us then journeyed around the US together during my post-doc years. Sara sings beautifully. Below is a youtube video of a country song she and her family recorded for fun.
She and her father also write and record folk music about human rights in China. Check out their website.
We home-school our son and also volunteer to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong, which is a qigong meditation practice (slow-moving exercises) with a spiritual philosophy based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
What else? Hmm.............WE LOVE ROLLA!