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Jinliang Yan

Postdoctoral Associate

Contact Information:

University of California

Davis, CA




Jinliang Yang joined Dr. Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra’s lab in October 2014 as a Postdoctoral Associate. He is working on maize quantitative genetics and the genetics of nitrogen fixation. Jinliang received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Schnable. His Ph.D. work focused on new GWAS methods development, genetics of heterosis, and algorithm development for SNP data analysis.

Why I Became a Scientist:

My idea of pursuing a career in science was conceived back to college, when I was enrolled in the Bioengineering program. The trainings were mainly focusing on utilizing microbes and deciding factors, such as the temperature, humanity and pressure, to improve yield production in the fermentation process. And I found myself being fascinated by the underlying biological mechanisms of microbes rather than their applications in fermentation.

Then I decided to pursue my master degree in the molecular biology major at China Agricultural University, when I had the chance of studying the MITE, a miniature version of Barbara McClintock’s Ac transposon in the maize genome, under the guidance of Dr. Jinsheng Lai. The complexity of the transposon families was far beyond my imagination and I enjoyed the process to sort them out. More importantly, I realized the significance of constructing good research questions and developing hypotheses (or naïve/crazy ideas), and also looking up publications to find explanations from other experts, or designing data-driven experiments to test the hypotheses. I feel so excited every time when my hypothesis could be testified or had been documented by others. Therefore, I believe that I would enjoy a career that keeps me thinking and testing, and it will be more meaningful if by chance I would have some scientific discoveries that may benefit the society group.

2008-2014    Ph.D. Interdepartmental Genetics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, US
2005-2008    M.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, CHN
2001-2005    B.S. Bioengineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing, CHN


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