Faculty Spotlight

Once a month we feature a member of our faculty. 

 

XIAOYU LIANG

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Enjoing Lake Superior and northern Michigan 


Current Hometown

East Lansing


Born and raised

Heilongjiang, China

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Favorite Movie and/or musical group/singer

I’m a big fan of movies, with 'The Lord of the Rings' being a go-to when I can't decide what to watch. Recently, I've been enjoying the music of Teddy Swims.

Favorite sport to play or watch

I watch UFC occasionally.

What do you like to do in your free time?

During my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors such as running or jogging, as well as unwinding on the couch with a good movie or TV show.

What is the most interesting/enjoyable place you have visited

The most interesting place I've visited is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It's absolutely beautiful with its forests, waterfalls, and the stunning shores of Lake Superior. I loved exploring the small towns, hiking the trails, and just enjoying the peaceful, natural surroundings. It’s a great spot for outdoor activities and relaxing in nature.

What is the most helpful advice you have received

Focus on what I can control and let go of what I can't.

How did you become interested in your field? Was there a specific moment when you knew it was the right fit for you

I became interested in my field when I saw the method we developed yielding good results. Getting encouragement from my advisor also played a big part in confirming that it was the right fit for me.


What/who influenced you to select your area(s) of study and how has that impacted your career?

My choice of study area was heavily influenced by my PhD advisors, Dr. Shuanglin Zhang and Dr. Qiuying Sha. Their expertise in statistical genetics ignited my interest and passion for this field. Not only did they provide me with encouragement and support to pursue an academic journey in this area, but they also imparted invaluable lessons on how to excel as a scientist and as an individual. Their guidance has made a big difference in my career, helping me become a better researcher and grow personally too.


Describe your current research or area of interest

My current research aims to better understand how genetic variation contributes to the etiology of complex diseases and how genetic and environmental risks on substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders and translate genetic findings to clinical use.


What advice would you give to a student?

My advice to a student would be to aim for long-term planning. Embrace failure as part of the learning process and see it as an opportunity for growth. It's okay to make mistakes; what matters is how you learn from them. This advice applies not only to others but also to myself.