Ding Yu, a professor in food science and engineering at JNU, has been elected a member of the “1000 Youth Talents Scheme of China” for 2016.
After receiving his B.S. from Lanzhou University in 2003, Ding attended the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, earning his M.S. in 2007. From 2006 to 2013, he worked as a research assistant in plant cell biology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2013. In 2015, he joined the JNU faculty as a researcher in the College of Science and Engineering.
Asked why he chose to study botany, Ding said: “Personally, I don’t like the experiments involving ethics, particularly those on animals. Life sciences are straightforward, and the most direct scene I’ve seen is to get the blood of a living mouse.” As genetically engineering plants was then one of the key academic issues around the world, Ding decided to study botany, realizing it would be of great use to solving future food crises.
Ding had worked as a research assistant since 2006 under the guidance of Jiang Liwen, a professor in CUHK’ s Department of Biology and a leading figure in plant cell biology. In 2010, Ding’s research team made a significant breakthrough by finding a new type of plant cell organelle: exocyst positive organelle (EXPO), which exists in many types of plant cells and mediates the secretion of an unconventional protein, controlling the plant’s growth. The contribution of the team’s preliminary research result soon invited disputes from its peers internationally, and Ding and the research team became involved in academic debates.
To find more evidence of the newly found EXPO, Ding and other team members worked hard for eight consecutive months. Finally, the research result was published in The Plant Cell, a world-class scientific journal of botany. Ding decided to delay graduation and continue his studies. In the next three years, he gradually made the theory of unconventional protein secretion in EXPO acceptable, publishing articles as first author or co-first author.
After earning his doctorate, Ding completed two years of postdoctoral research work at CUHK. At the end of 2015, he chose to leave CUHK, where he had studied for nearly 10years.
“JNU is an inclusive and tolerant place, which is an important for me,” he said. “Since I’ve been in Hong Kong for a long time, I attach great importance to a campus’s inclusive atmosphere. This is also the reason I chose JNU.” He also said that when he was at CUHK, he had contact with JNU graduates working toward their doctorates at CUHK, in whom he saw the “spirit of Jinan.”
In early 2016, JNU established the Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition, led by Shi Lei, a member of the “1000 Talents Scheme.” Ding is dedicated to research on food safety, functional food and bioreactors.
Reviewing his research in the last 10-odd years, Ding said: “For me, the most notable significance of the scientific research is to explore of the unknown world. I hope my research work can help build a better world to live by doing more original work in the area of food and developing more products that are meaningful for our society.”
Date: Jun. 20, 2016
Written by: Liu Chenguang
Edited by: Mo Wanyi
Source: Jinan University Newspaper
Dr. Cao Yaoyu joined JNU’s Institute of Photonics Technology faculty as a postdoctoral research fellow and doctoral tutor in March, 2016. When talking about why he chose to work at JNU, he seemed to have given it full consideration. “I think it is mainly because of the current circumstances of China. As ‘Made in China 2025’ plan is given more and more attention, I suppose it is a good time for China to catch up with the developed countries in the area of manufacturing industry,” said Cao. In addition, “JUN enjoys a favorable geographical location, as Guangzhou is one of the most important places for Chinese technology and innovation. Besides, I’ve enjoyed the academic freedom in JNU where the university attaches much importance to the introduction of high-level talents. In particular, the Institute of Photonics Technology has established Real-time information exchange, encouraging the faculty to share the latest academic information via internet and gradually open to other disciplines, including biology, chemistry and materials science, which has formed a ‘Big Optics’ research group’. The inclusive system is particularly useful for scientific research,” added Cao.
Cao was determined to do research in the field of optics in 2005. “Optical technology is one of the most active fields of natural science research, which has a far-reaching influence on the economic and cultural activities in human society,” said Cao.
He has been responsible for developing super-resolution and direct-laser-writing through a dual-beam approach and processing high-precision 3D nanostructures for next-generation nano-scale photonic devices since 2009 . In layman's terms, that is to produce integrated chip necessary for all kinds of electronic equipment, which indicates a broad application prospect.
In 2013, Dr. Cao and Professor Li Xiangping jointly developed a new super-resolution optical recording approach for light limit technique based on two light-beam method to develop new type of storage media for big data storage. By using this approach, they had achieved a recorded bit size of 33 nm for the first time in their experiment. “Conventional Blu-ray Disc discs contain 25 gigabytes per layer, but the application of dual-beam super-resolution approach enables the data capacity of a single DVD to increase from 25 GB up to 1,000 TB. This is equivalent of storing 20,000 high-definition movies,” said Cao. In his view, there would be a broader application of optical storage especially in the era of big data where all IT companies’ needs for data base are growing exponentially. This technology of application of optical storage for big data and other related invention has been patented, which also has gained favor with OAL, a brand company of Facebook.
Dr. Cao’s pursuit of optical research is not all roses. In 2009, he began to study how to apply dual-beam super-resolution laser processing approach to fabricate nanometer-scale 3D structure, thus ultimately achieving 3D photonic crystals with visible light and band gap. Although some scholars had already put forward the possibility of application of the approach, there was nobody to put forward how to develop it to nanoscale optical processing technology. After three years’ research with countless failures, Cao finally realized super-resolution laser processing technology with a feature size of merely 9 nm in 2013, which enabled a new world record.
Cao holds that the construction of high-level university requires the frontier research including the breakthrough of both basic theories and applied research. “The research we’ ve been doing is more about application, whose ultimate outcomes would be combined with industries, which conforms to the concept of JNU’s construction of high-level university,” said Cao. According to him, problem consciousness is of great significance for the frontier research. Currently, the scientific research at abroad is focused on the problems urgently to be solved in the society. “Our research should solve the practical problems in our daily life. Meanwhile, we also should pay attention to how many benefits the research can bring to the industries and what kinds of economic issues can be dealt with,” said Cao.
Dr. Cao Yaoyu received his PhD in organic chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre of Micro-Photonics at Swinburne University of Technology from 2009 to 2016. His major research interests are focused on micro- or nano-scale photonic devices and super-resolution optical technology and laser materials processing. He is an elected member of 2015 “1000-talent Plan” (A plan made by the General Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to attract high-level talents from overseas to work in China). He has over 15 papers in internationally refereed journals including Nature Communications Small and Light Science&Applications.
Written by: Liu Chenguang
Edited by: Mo Wanyi
Source: JNU News Center
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