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New horizon

By Yang Yang | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-26 08:43
Zhang Yan, Xu Qi and Yang Li are among the 10 Chinese women to be given the 2017 China Young Women in Science Fellowships for their outstanding performance in their fields of research.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Xu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been studying the pathogenesis of severe neuropathy, such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and depression.

Yang, a professor with the Peking University Hospital, is a top expert in the clinical prevention and treatment of acute kidney injury and its pathogenic mechanisms.

Both in their early 40s, Xu and Yang, were roommates when they studied at the Peking University Health Science Center two decades ago.

"I didn't feel gender discrimination as a student. When I started to run my own lab, I realized women actually have an advantage in the male-dominated world of science," Zhang says.

Yang agrees: "Yes, it's often easier for female teachers to communicate with students in the lab."

Xu's case is even more unique. She started studying at Peking University at the age of 14, where she was the youngest student in her class.

"Being female has always been an advantage for me since a young age. Many male colleagues joked that if they were a woman, they could have been as successful as me," she says. Xu adds: "I grew up in an environment which was very tolerant toward women."

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