Career Speaker: Yan Zhou

Yan was born in a mid-sized town in north China. She grew up in a big family with a lot of uncles and aunts, also lots of love! She liked science and math since she was little. She loved the pleasure of figuring things out no matter if it was a math problem or fixing a broken pen.

Yan finished her undergraduate studies with a major in Molecular Biology from Nankai University and then received her PhD in Biochemistry from Chinese Academy of Medical Science. Importantly, this training coincided with the launch of the Human Genome Project when conversations about big data and DNA sequence analysis started to become more common. In fact, her thesis was part of the initial international study.

Yan then moved to Philadelphia in 2000 for her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania where she also pursued a master’s degree in Bioinformatics. Following that, she joined Fox Chase Cancer Center as a research associate with Drs. Ochs and Hardy in 2003, later becoming a member in the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core. Since joining the Core, Yan works closely with biologists as well as clinical research teams to identify critical questions that can be addressed via computational approaches.