Neurological diseases are one of the most significant health problems we face as a society. They cause physical and cognitive damage and affect more than 55 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. As a teenager, I saw my grandma suffer from Parkinson’s disease before she died.”

"The endowed Gates scholarship funding means that I can contribute to a field of study that I am passionate about, alongside expert researchers and clinicians from around the world."

My PhD research is focussed on understanding the mechanisms underlying neurological disorders, including how genetics and the environment interact to cause major brain diseases such as Huntingdon’s and Parkinson’s diseases. I am fascinated by the complexity of the physiology and pathology of the nervous system, and I hope that research in this area will lead to the development of new drugs/treatments to prevent and to alleviate neurodegeneration.

I grew up in a rural region of Western China, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work here. Being part of the Gates cohort provides a support network and encourages an exchange of ideas about our cultures and our research. Everything felt new and different when I arrived in the laboratory here, but my supervisor, my fellow postdocs and the brilliant laboratory colleagues all helped me to settle in and feel at home quickly.