Yuming He

yuming he

Lorna Casselton Memorial Scholarship

Joining us from: Zhejiang, China

Interdisciplinary Bioscience (BBSRC DTP) (2022)

I did my BSc in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Zhejiang A&F University in 2018. After two-year research assistantship worked on plant development, I came to UK for studying my MSc in Plant Genetics and Crop Improvement at John Innes Centre in 2021. With my continuing passion for fundamental research in plant science, I started my DPhil in Interdisciplinary Bioscience at University of Oxford in 2022. 

My previous studies mainly focused on the root development including stem cell niche maintenance and root cell identity in Arabidopsis. I love fundamental research but I also have been thinking about doing something more applicable. Thus, I am currently keen on understanding how plants sense oxygen in some model species Arabidopsis, rice, etc. and how they respond to low oxygen environments eg, floods. With the recent extension of my interests in Synthetic Biology, my research will also be involved in molecular design and engineering plants for improving their oxygen sensing systems. 

I have very broad hobbies such as basketball, anime, badminton, freestyle slalom skating and so on, although I am just an amateur of them. I enjoy playing with friends as I think it is the best way to increase my knowledge, have fun and relax. 

I think there might be three main reasons: 1) University of Oxford is a world-leading university with great reputation and research recourses for supporting my study; 2) the DTP programme which I applied for is very fascinating as it is an integrative interdisciplinary course including module training, rotation research project, internship and DPhil study; 3) There are lots of excellent scientists and researchers working on plant sciences and they have good collaborations with other departments or universities. 

I chose St Cross College for three main reasons: 1) St Cross College provides funding in the field of plant science; 2) St Cross College has a very good location. For example, its location in the city centre is only a ten minute walk to my department and accommodation, which is very convenient for both studying and living. 3) The food at St Cross is impressive. So far so good, we have other students in the DTP cohort and I found it was easy to communicate at St Cross. And the St Cross community has a good mix of international and home students, which helps me make new friends from different countries including Chinese friends.  

The Lorna Casselton Memorial Scholarship covers the partial course fee for me each year, and it is definitely a great honour in plant science as well. My short-term goal is continuously coming up with scientific questions and solving problems to enjoy my DPhil life. At my current stage I probably tend to work in academia, so finding a postdoc position or other research jobs would be my first choice in the near future. Our course sets up various internships to help us connect with industry, so I think it would be a great chance to get to know industry as well and hopefully I will have some ideas and could make decisions in the third year of my DPhil.