Lei Wang visited the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology in frame of the StayConnected@HHU Programme

Lei Wang is studying for his Masters Degree in Pharmacology at Hubei Key Laboratory of Natural Products Research and Development at the China Three Gorges University (CTHG) in Yichang. His Chinese supervisor is a HHU researcher alumnus and Lei takes part in the "Researcher Alumnus Staff Exchange Programme" of JUNO. Lei came to HHU for a research stay at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology from June to August 2017.

Working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Proksch Lei Wang is doing research on the "Sesquiterpenes isolation and the anti-tumor activity of Carpesium abrotanoides" as an extension of his previous research at CTHG.

Lei Wang, Foto: © Susana Mogollón

What motivated you to continue your academic education in pharmacology and what is your research about?

When I was aiming for my Bachelor Degree in pharmacology two years ago, I got introduced to the professor leading this research topic. My hometown in Hubei, China, is surrounded by lots of mountains and natural resources. The plant we are researching, Carpesium abrotanoides, grows mostly in China and South Korea and is used in traditional medicine. This fact motivated me to pursue my postgraduate studies in pharmacology.

My research here will focus on sesquiterpenes isolation and their anti-tumor activity of Carpesium abrotanoides. Twenty four compounds have been isolated from the ester acetate part of the extract of Carpesium abrotanoides since July 2015 and the results revealed that the sesquiterpenoids with skeletons of guaiane and pseudoguaiane were the main components, and two compounds (Granilin and Isoinuviscolide) exhibited significant cytotoxic activity. My goal is to isolate several novel compounds with specific structures and significant anti-tumor activity.

Your professor is an HHU alumnus: What motivated you to apply for the Staff Exchange Programme between researcher alumni and their collaborators at HHU?


Professor Proksch had already been at the China Three Gorges University two times before and he told us a lot about his research, the staff, and the lab here at HHU. My supervisor Dr. Guo and other colleagues had also been researching here before and spoke well about HHU. This developed my curiosity, in addition, I wanted to experience a new country and a new culture.

How exactly does your research project benefit from collaboration with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology here at HHU?

Even though the lab I work in in China, the Hubei Key Laboratory of Natural Products Research and Development, and this lab here at HHU work on the same research field, there are some differences. The biggest difference is the size and the standards of the lab. There is just more space here for us to work. The equipment is also better, newer than in China. Although the atmosphere in CTGU is also very good, as a Master student I like the fact that I work with a lot of PhDs here. I am more motivated to work with this conditions and can accomplish my goals faster.

What are your expectations regarding your research stay at HHU? What would you like to accomplish?

Already after one months I got to isolate four compounds. In China, I isolated one or two compounds in the same amount of time. So this is the first time I get such results. I'm confident that I can make even more progress in the next months.

What are your plans for your future career? Do you think you might even come back to Düsseldorf?

I think I will finish my Master in 2018. I would like to continue with my PhD here at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology at HHU. I just don't know if it will be possible for me to work with a new professor if Prof. Proksch is already retired by then, but that is my wish.

What could we do to make the research cooperation with HHU even better? How would you like to keep in touch with the HHU?

I think JUNO is doing a great job! Before coming to my research stay here at HHU, I felt very nervous, because I had never been in Europe before. It is a different culture, a different language and a different way of working but the people here are kind-hearted and my colleagues are very nice. The application process was very easy and I am really glad to be here.

Interview by Susana Mogollón. July 2017.

Personal Details

Lei Wang

Degrees

07/2015 - Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology at the China Three Gorges University (CTGU).
Thesis: "Sesquiterpenes isolation and their anti-tumor activity of Carpesium abrotanoides".

since 09/2015 - Master of Science in Pharmacology in the Hubei Key Laboratory of Natural Products Research and Development at CTGU.

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