Chenghong Deng

Graduate Student

You work in a laboratory.  What are you currently researching?

I am rotating in Dr. Caripizo’s lab. I am working to understand pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is one of the most common places to spread cancer and pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer. 

What was it that originally sparked your interest in biology?

When I was a freshman back in college, it was difficult for me to decide on a major. Thus, I took several introduction courses in different fields. I found myself attacked by a course called Introduction to Biology. I enjoyed observing the movement of cells under the microscope and exploring how changes in genetic code could potentially influence the organism. 

What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?

I really enjoy working at the U of R. Everyone at U of R makes me feel like home. From the interview to right now, the people in the biology department tried their best to show how beautiful the city of Rochester is and how they care about the students. 

Academics: The PI is always accessible. As a rotation student, I not only have the weekly meeting with my PI, but also I will be able to discuss the major result as soon as it comes out.

Social life: People will gather around to celebrate their birthday. We like to bring and share delicious food with each other. It makes me feel like I am not working with my collages but working with my friends.

What advice would you give to prospective students looking to study in our department?

I would advise the prospective students to look through the website and make connections with people if they are looking to study in U of R. We like to talk with people about our research.

What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned working here and/or studying biology?

Communication. Talking to people is important. I know sometimes people might think you are alone on your research. However, this is not true. You are never alone and science needs cooperation. Get help from your PI, lab members and collaborators. 

How do you think our biology department stands out in comparison to other universities?

Diversity & Warmth! In our department, we have labs researching in very different fields and using a variety of techniques (both dry lab and wet lab). Our biology department support students for at least three rotations. Thus, for incoming students, they will have the opportunity to explore their interests.

In addition, the whole department cares about the students. By studying in Rochester for 2 years, I can always get enough help even in the most difficult time during the global pandemic.

How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab?

There are lots of fun things to do in Rochester. Personally, I really like figure skating and archery. During the wintertime, I can skate at the Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex, which is super close to River Campus. In addition, there also are lots of spaces you can play squash in the gym.

What is one thing about yourself that you’d like more people to know?

I have three guinea pigs and would like to know more people who also have guinea pigs.