“The fellowship will allow me to gain experimental training in a wet lab to balance my expertise in mathematical and computational modeling, which will strengthen my research profile and set me apart from others,” said Zhao, who earned a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. “I will be a more competitive candidate in the job market.”
Hoyer said the fellowship highlights the vital role that repeatedly trained scientists play in deepening the research experience in immunology.
“It’s an opportunity for Lihong to see how we think about the experimental side, what kind of controls we’re looking at and the process so she can see how long experiments last and best determine where mathematical modeling and computation would improve science. ,” said Hoyer, who is a member of the AAI and was named a Public Policy Fellow by the association in 2013. she will pursue her own career as a computational mathematician.”
Sindi agrees the experience will be invaluable to Zhao’s college career.
“It’s important to create accurate, predictive and useful models,” Sindi said. “This experiment will make Lihong a better mathematical biologist.”
Hoyer and Sindi see the fellowship as an opportunity to continue to strengthen their longstanding collaboration which includes an R15 grant from the National Institutes of Health focused on “experimental and mathematical modeling of CD8 T cell dynamics in autoimmune diseases” and a UC Merced 2020 COVID-19 seed grant.
“This is a prestigious award for our campus. It highlights our IT training program in graduate groups and departments,” Hoyer said.