PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Yumeng Hao

“We should not have our minds closed. We are scientists. We should explore other things. What are the other things that are out there?”

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Biophysics, Postdoctoral Fellow 2016-2021

Technology Innovation Lead, Platform Team at Flagship Labs 70, Inc

Yumeng‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what inspired Yumeng to pursue her PhD in molecular biology, the different resources that supported her career development during her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biophysics at Johns Hopkins, the challenges she faced as an international student, and the importance of building support networks and mentoring relationships.

Learn More About Yumeng’s Story

When we look back to our school days, there is always a teacher that changed our lives. This is a picture I took on my graduation day with Prof. Jialin Yu at my alma mater, China Agricultural University. I knew Prof. Yu when I started working in his lab as a sophomore studying plant viruses gene silencing. It was my first research experience and quite a life-changing event for me. As a great mentor, Prof. Yu saw more talents and abilities within me than I saw in myself, and helped bring them out of me. Under his guidance, I found my passion in biology and started to appreciate the beauty and complexity of biological research. He also encouraged me to apply for graduate school in the US and opened my eyes to a future that I did not dare to dream of. That summer, I received four graduate school offers in the US and graduated with distinguished honors in my class.

This is a picture of our RPL3 group, which stands for “RNA Power Ladies X3”. Dr. Megan Filbin-Wong (middle), Dr. Marisa Ruehle (right), and I worked side by side in a graduate research lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Since then, we developed a deep bond as scientific peers, specifically as what we call “Scientific sisters”! Megan and Marisa shape me into the scientist I am today! We celebrate wins together, we encourage and support each other through tough times. During the pandemic, we formed a tradition of biweekly zoom meetings to talk about science, brainstorm about projects, or just listen and support. Till today, we still meet! Megan and Marisa are examples of great female colleagues, friends, and leaders I know and cherish throughout my career.