JUSTL participant: Dr Katherine Yueping Qian

21 May 2020

Dr Katherine Yueping Qian is a Senior Clinical Manager at Intuitive Surgical-Fosun Medical Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd in Shanghai, China. She obtained her PhD in 2008 from the The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Department of Biology working in the laboratory of Prof H. Benjamin Peng on the development of the neuromuscular junction and the role of protein tyrosine phosphatases in this process. After completing her PhD studies, Dr Qian moved to Shanghai where she worked in various pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Life Technologies and Beckman Coulter, before starting at Intuitive Surgical-Fosun Medical Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. in early 2018.

Current Work

Intuitive Surgical-Fosun Medical Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. is a joint venture between the Chinese company Fosun Pharma and Intuitive Surgical, which is an American company who created the da Vinci Surgical Robot system. The da Vinci system facilitates surgeons when they perform complex surgical procedures in a minimally-invasive manner. This system has been used in the US since 2000. As Senior Clinical Manager, Dr Qian is involved in all the clinically-based tasks required to get the products accepted for use in China. Thus, she conducts clinical trials and evaluates clinical research described in the literature to demonstrate the products performance and safety.

JUSTL Programme

The scientific atmosphere in MBL impressed me a lot. I saw people build connections, collaborate with each other and inspire each other with great ideas.

Dr Qian was a participant in the 2007 JUSTL programme. During her 8 weeks at the MBL, she worked with Dr Mark Terasaki (University of Connecticut Heath Center, Farmington, CT), Dr Steve Zottoli (Williams College, Williamstown, MA), and Dr Joshua Zimmerberg (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD). In Dr Terasaki’s laboratory, she learned how to microinject and image starfish oocytes and she confirmed his previous observations regarding the initiation of nuclear envelop breakdown. Working with Dr Zottoli, Dr Qian learned some basic electrophysiology and used this technique identify the receptive region of supramedullary cells in the cunner fish (Tautogolabrus adspersus). Finally, Dr Qian got a chance to work with Dr Zimmerberg after hearing him speak at a Neuroimaging seminar. She introduced herself and discovered that he was running experiments on single molecule tracking of the acetylcholine receptor. As this was related to the work she was doing for her PhD, Dr Zimmerberg invited her to get involved in his project. Dr Qian really appreciated the opportunity to work with these three world-renowned scientists on their different projects.

In her end-of-programme report, Dr Qian said that: “The scientific atmosphere in MBL impressed me a lot. I saw people build connections, collaborate with each other and inspire each other with great ideas. It was an amazing experience to live and work with so many intelligent scientists.” When I spoke with Dr Qian recently, she revealed that the JUSTL programme gave her a better understanding about herself because even though she was very interested in science during her education, after working and interacting with so many highly acclaimed scientists at the MBL, she decided that unlike them, her enthusiasm towards science was more on the application aspect rather than basic research. For this reason, after completing her PhD, Dr Qian made the decision to make a move to industry. However, she is very grateful to the JUSTL programme for providing her with the knowledge to help her make this decision. She is also grateful to the programme for giving her the opportunity to get to know the other JUSTL participants; they remain very good friends and still keep in touch with each other today.