I grew up in an environment where women do not always have access to higher education. And for me, it was a life adventure to break this glass ceiling.
My name is Xiuzhen Chen. I am a cell biologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Currently, I’m working to understand how components in cells find each other efficiently in a crowded environment. I have discovered a previously unknown network formed by the RNA-binding protein FXR1. This is an exciting discovery as FXR1 is amplified in lung squamous cell carcinoma. This is a type of cancer lacking effective treatment options. I think my work will provide a completely new perspective on how RNA-binding proteins can cause cancer.
My PI [principal investigator] is Christine Mayr; she is a very strong female scientist. I am really inspired by her every day. I have not worked in a community where female scientists are supported and celebrated as much as here.
The Kravis WiSE fellowship will allow me to laser-focus on my research project for the next two years and to complete my studies on the FXR1 network. I am incredibly honored to be recognized with this fellowship. This recognition energized me and gave me confidence.
Supporting women and minority groups is a huge step and very important toward equality. Being in this environment has inspired me to become a leader.