Assistant Professor – Biology
Ph.D., Iowa State University
Office: Building 2, Room 260
I grew up in Sichuan province in the Southwest part of China. After getting a B.S. degree in Zoology and a M.S. degree in Cell Biology, I taught Biochemistry at Guangxi Agricultural University for about four and half years. During that period of time, I developed strong interest in human nutritional sciences and decided to pursue a doctoral degree in this area.
I came to Dr. Wendy White’s Lab at Iowa State University in January 1997 and became a graduate student at the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. For my M.S. degree in nutrition, I conducted a research project looking at the effects of different types of fats (vegetable oils versus animal fat) on the intestinal absorption of β-carotene, an important pro-vitamin A and antioxidant in women. The result was published on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. My doctoral research was focused on the interaction of lutein and β-carotene, two predominate carotenoids in vegetables. I used state of the art analytical instrument, gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometer for this research. In 2001, I received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, a fellowship awarded to four graduate students nation-wide each year, for the merit of my research proposal.
After getting my Ph.D in nutrition in 2003, I joined Dr. Arthur Spector’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa as a postdoctoral research scholar. I conducted research on the enzymatic mechanism of the conversion of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, a potent constrictor of small arteries and arterioles to 1,20-dicarboxy-eicosatetraenoic acid in blood vessels, and has obtained preliminary data showing the alcohol dehydrogenase IV is partially responsible for the conversion.
I have enjoyed research enormously. However I do miss teaching at a college and decided that I want to teach again. I enjoy my new job as a teacher at Black Hawk College!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband Conan, dancing, and practicing Yoga and Pilates. I have been dancing most of my life and have been focused on ballroom dance in the past four years. My husband and I have taught swing dance (http://www.swingoutiowa.com) in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, and we now we are teaching Swing and Salsa dance in Bettendorf.