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Chinese scholar named on annual Forbes '30 under 30' list

By HONG XIAO | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-05 07:48

Chinese scholar named on annual Forbes '30 under 30' list

He Jiang, the first Chinese to deliver a Harvard University commencement address, has made the 2017 Forbes "30 under 30".

"I received a message (about the list) this morning. I'm a little surprised, but very happy about it," He told China Daily on Tuesday.

Forbes' 30 Under 30 is a set of lists issued annually by Forbes magazine.

On Tuesday, the magazine released its sixth annual 30 Under 30, featuring 600 young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who challenge conventional wisdom and rewrite the rules for the next generation.

The lists recognize 30 game-changers in 20 industries who are under 30 years old, with the honorees vetted by a panel of judges from their respective fields.

Previous winners include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon, the rapper Chance and YouTube phenom Michelle Phan.

"These are the people that will run every field for the next 50 years," said Randall Lane, editor of Forbes.

He, a 29-year-old postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was chosen for the healthcare category after being nominated by his professors at Harvard.

"I didn't know I was nominated until December," He said.

At Harvard, He used a new technology called single-virus tracking super-resolution imaging, known as STORM, to understand more about how influenza infects cells, and discovered human genes with strong anti-viral effects.

He is now applying the same techniques to neurons and white blood cells. He hopes the lab research he conducted can be put to practical use in healthcare.

He grew up in a small village with limited educational opportunities. By studying hard, He graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China-one of China's top universities-with a bachelor's degree in 2009, and was accepted into Harvard's PhD program on a full scholarship the same year.

In May, the biochemistry doctorate delivered a speech representing the university's 13 graduate and professional schools at the commencement.

In his speech, He talked about the uneven distribution of science and technology in the world and expressed his desire to get science and medicine to places they aren't reaching, such as his own village, where his mother once treated his spider bite with fire.

Seventeen of the 600 winners in 2017 are from China.

"One in every six of the 30 under 30 list members are immigrants, originating from 44 different countries and exemplifying the success of immigrants," the Forbes website said.

More than 15,000 online submissions were received and only 600 made the cut, meaning there was a 4 percent acceptance rate, lower than Stanford (4.8 percent) or Harvard (5.2 percent) if compared with college admissions rates.

Others on the list include Hope Hicks, 28, the newly appointed White House director of strategic communications; musician Gallant, 24; athlete Von Miller, 27; YouTube star Tyler Oakley, 27; and entrepreneur Noah Kraft, 29.

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