17 July 2019
5 minutes with...Liu Lu
Liu Lu has recently joined the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics as a research associate in Professor Tim Vyse research group. Her research interests include the genetic mechanisms of systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmune dermatosis. We took 5 minutes with Liu to learn about her career to date, research area and what she does with her time outside of work.
Briefly, tell me about your background and career up to this point at King’s?
I am currently a Research Associate investigating the genetic mechanism of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), in the Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics.
I obtained a PhD in the genetic mechanism of autoimmune dermatosis (Dermatology and Venereology), Institute of Dermatology, Anhui Medical University, China, Sep 2013 – Jun 2018
BS in Clinical Medicine, Wannan Medical College, China, Sep 2007 – Jul 2012
What research are you currently working on?
I am studying the genetic mechanism of the difference in response to rituximab in patients with SLE and conducting research in complex trait genetics of SLE, especially SLE genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis in the Chinese and European populations.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day usually starts off with getting out of bed and scanning the fridge for breakfast. Then go to the office. After saying hello to my colleagues in the office, I walk over to my seat and turn on the computer. I then start to check my email. I go through the emails quickly and then turn my attention to the ongoing experiments. I read through some scientific articles or textbooks and reflect on what could be improved or what went wrong in an experiment. Then I conduct my project or work on the current article that I’m writing. While contemplating whether to rewrite parts of it, my lunch buddy shows up and asks if I want to catch something to eat. Lunch is followed by a coffee break in our kitchen together with more colleagues. Before I realize it, it is getting late and most people have already gone home. Sometimes I continue writing on my current article until the cleaners kick me out; sometimes I still work on my current project; sometimes I prepare for my next day lunch in the evening. Regardless of the evening activity, I check my mobile before going to sleep to do the last check of my emails and answer them if possible. Then it is really time to sleep.
Where is your research area heading in the next 5 years?
For the future, the combination of whole-genome surveys of genetic variation and detailed phenotypic and -omics data on millions of individuals will be a treasure trove for making new fundamental discoveries in human genetics. Some of those discoveries will be wholly unexpected, and others will detect or unravel biological mechanisms. Disease-specific discoveries will continue to spur the development and trials of new therapeutics, the understanding of pathways from sequence to consequence, and for some diseases, prevention or early intervention.
What is your favourite part of your current role?
During conducting the project, I also can learn many new bits of knowledge from other colleagues.
What do you do with your time outside of academia?
Cooking and listening to music
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Because people expect me to' is a very poor reason to do anything. I’d rather disappoint someone by doing what I want than by doing what they want.
Who do you look up to (inside or outside of academia)?
I admire my mother the most. Because she is the one brought me into this world.
Favourite Movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Favourite Book: My Life Story
Favourite TV Show: "Discovery" which is broadcasted by CCTV
Favourite Scientist: Tu Youyou