Chenying Yang is a research assistant with the Spinal Injury Project team. She completed a Bachelor of Bioscience and Biotechnology at Tsinghua University before arriving in Australia to complete her Master’s of Biomedical Research at the University of Melbourne. She will be working with Dr Anu Chacko and Dr Ali Delbaz to find compounds that can stimulate olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) to clean the spinal cord injury site! ⠀
1) What is you name and where are you from?
Chenying Yang, born in China, and came to Australia in 2012.
2) Current role within the Spinal Injury Project?
Research assistant working on the compound screening for cleaning up the spinal cord injury site project.
3) What outcomes are you hoping to achieve with your particular role?
I am looking to find compounds that can increase the phagocytosis (debris eating) function of the olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). This function could help to improve clean-up of the injury site following a spinal cord injury.
4) What’s a day ‘on the job’ look like for you?
Most of the time, I am in the tissue culture room, looking after my big collection of primary cell cultures. Some of the cells that I grow include OECs, Schwann cells, astrocytes, microglia cells and neurons. I then set up experiments using these cells to test which of the many different compounds stimulate the activity of the cells.
5) What keeps you inspired with your work?
The excitement of exploring the unknown and the contribution to a potential treatment for spinal cord injuries.
6) What are you most excited about working on the Spinal Injury Project?
Working in a team that is on the way to developing an amazing treatment for spinal cord injuries.
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