Interview with Rachel Yuan Nong

Categories: Meet the researchers

What was your main reason for coming to Sweden?

I was hoping to see a country that was different to China. Sweden was one of the options. I had a Major in Biology and went to Singapore for a short stay in a Marine Biology lab. Eight years ago, I went to Sweden to study at the Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics program at UU. I first became a Master thesis student and subsequently a PhD student in Ulf Landegren´s research group. It´s fun to work in this lab.

What is the best thing about living in Sweden?

I enjoy all aspects of that it is different from China: mostly the free personal space that one earns here, both at work and living here. The culture to grow ones ideas and a more allowing culture.

Can you tell me a bit about your work and why you decided to come to Sweden?

My interest is to construct a class of probes that can detect individual different cellular components and build a cellular map that can define cell states, e.g. healthy and diseased cells. This can be used in the future to improve diagnosis of various diseases.

How would you describe your career perspectives in Sweden?

I want to continue in the academic research, but I´m also open for work in start-up biotechnology industries. I would prefer to continue with my academic expertise in the industry. There are more opportunities for senior researcher here in Uppsala, compared to a few years ago. Another advantage is that gender issues are discussed.

What was surprising for you when you moved to Sweden?

The larger personal space compared to China. The term “lagom” (moderate) in Sweden. Sometimes things can be homogenous here.

What do you miss from your home country?

Occasionally I miss the Chinese culture, because it is such a different culture to Sweden. I miss Chinese food.

What do you like most about living in Sweden and why?

The large personal space. The free choice of basically everything. The international community here in Uppsala. It´s easy to get to know people here.