Name: Wenwan Zhong
Title: Professor of Chemistry
Please share with us a brief description of your research.
My work mainly focuses on development of chemical analysis techniques to help study the functions of biomolecules, and assist with discovery and detection of disease biomarkers. Our technique development is empowered by diverse molecular tools, including nanomaterials, functional nucleic acids, and synthetic receptors; and facilitated by multidisciplinary approaches, like protein engineering, material science, and statistical analysis.
How do you hope your research will impact the world around us?
I hope my work can benefit fighting against various diseases like cancers, by providing tools to enable early disease detection and improve understanding of how the disease is initiated and progressed. In particular, we are interested in studying the impacts of environmental exposure to disease development, helping to improve environmental and public health.
What inspires you?
How fragile life would be when facing devastating diseases like cancers and COVID-19, and the more and more severe environmental problems the world is having, are two big fears I always keep in mind. Thus, I am inspired by the hope that the knowledge learned and the tools developed from our research can eventually help improve the living conditions and sustainable development of human beings.
Who are the instrumental women in your life and why?
My mom is the most instrumental woman in my life, who taught me countless things and encouraged me to pursue my dream. I have also been lucky to have several great female mentors in my career path, including my postdoc advisor and my colleagues at UCR, who are my role models.