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Student Spotlight: Yijun Wang '21

Our student spotlight for this month is Villanova Senior Yijun Wang. Yijun is from Osaka, Japan where she has been completing her course work remotely since August. Yijun has made the most of the unique schedule that this year has provided. When she is not in her Villanova classes in the evenings, she attends a research laboratory at Osaka University. Her work is focused on Hematopoietic Stem cells (HSCs) and learning why they control and protect our blood and immune systems so well. She works on research projects with graduate students and university professors, developing a hypothesis about the future use of HSCs in preventing blood diseases and the micro environment that regulate HSCs. “I would go into it more, but I don’t want to give away our research,” Yijun says with a smile.

Lab

Yijun has always been interested in Biology, especially biodiversity, ever since she joined a biodiversity facilitative organization when she was ten. “This is a large part of the reason I wanted to attend Villanova,” says Yijun. “With the great science program, the labs and the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship, Villanova has helped me to pursue my dreams in science.”

Yijun is a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar, a unique endowment at Villanova that supports young women pursuing careers in STEM-related fields. Through this scholarship, Yijun was able to participate in a Biotech experience provided by Amgen, a Biopharmaceutical company in nearby Thousand Oaks. “My biology teacher, Mrs. Nelson was also able to help me reach out to the UC Santa Barbara lab director before the pandemic hit. Luckily, I was able to get a similar experience near my home in Osaka, so it all worked out.”

Yijun hopes to continue her career in Biology next year at one of the top universities in her field of interest.

“I have really enjoyed working with HSCs and one day I hope to innovate medicine with a cure for blood diseases through my research.”

In her free time, Yijun enjoys oil painting, piano, and competing on Villanova’s track team. We are so proud of Yijun for making the most of her senior year with this experience and for all that she brings to Villanova.

Yijun