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Graduate Student Highlight: Jia Gao

24 August 2021
Gao, Jia

Each week, the Department of Chemistry highlights a graduate student who is doing interesting and exciting work within the department. In this installment of our highlight series, we are featuring Jia Gao, who is a second-year student in the Lee lab.

Jia’s research focuses on studying the dynamics of the nucleosome array using mainly foster energy transfer spectroscopy. 

This week, we met virtually with Jia to discuss her life in and outside of the lab! Please enjoy our interview with Jia Gao.
Question: What inspires you as a scientist?

Answer: I joined the visiting undergrad research program at Caltech. There, I met a great PI and I’ve made her my role model for pursuing research for fun and curiosity.
Q: Why did you decide to come to Penn State?

A: Some of my friends graduated from Penn State, and they recommend I come here. Plus, Penn State has the best creamery.
Q: Where did you grow up? 
I was born and raised in China. (I’m thankful that we still have a few Asian grocery stores in State College). 
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
Outside of the lab, I enjoy drawing, swimming and watching Korean television shows.
Thanks to Jia for these interesting and thoughtful answers! We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more graduate student highlights in the weeks to come!