Review 2021

This is the end of 2021. I can not believe it has been 2 years since the pandemic. It is a challenging time for many of us. No matter what has happended, it is always good to sit down and spend some time to reflect for the past year. I wrote the annual review blog post every year, and you can find the one for 2020 at here.

Before I go to the details, I want to thank everyone who has helped me and mentored me in 2021. Thanks, Shirley Liu, Ethan Cerami, James Linsay, Franziska Michor and Rafael A Irizarry at Dana-Farber for their mentorship and support. I have learned a lot from them during my stay at DFCI leading the bioinformatics effort for the Cancer Immunologic Data Commons (CIDC) project.

On Nov 1, I made the decision to join Immunitas to head up their computational biology team. It was a big change for me and I want to thank my previous mentors Roel Verhaak and Tim Sacton for their support. I also want to give special thanks to Thomas Tan, our CSO to have confidence in me and believed that I could do the job. Leaving academia is not leaving science. I am impressed by the quality of science that we are doing in the company. I believe we can make a difference in helping the patients!

Some highlights

  1. I published 2 (co-) first author papers, one last senior author paper and 5 co-author papers in 2021. These inlcude a paper in Nature communications which consists of a big chunk of my postdoc work started 5 years ago. I felt so happy to see it out. A finished paper is a good paper!

  2. I gave several talks. I gave a keynote talk on reproducible research in genomic data science at the ISCB SC RSG Turkey Student Symposium 2021 https://symposium.rsgturkey.com/. I recorded the scATACseq lecture and this keynote, and uploaded them to Youtube.

  3. I love teaching and mentoring. My previous master thesis student Kelsey Lu defended her master several weeks ago. She did an excellent job. The associate computational biologist Gali Bai who worked with me is applying for PhD program, I am sure she can get into a good one. I am very proud of both of them!

  4. I attended Toastmasters International and gave 3 speeches! This is a great place to practise public speaking skills. I will finish my pathway level 1 early 2022.

Things need to do or to improve in 2022

  1. I have gained over 10 lb during the pandemic. I need to take care of my health more. Exercise regularly and keep fit.

  2. Spend more time with the family and plan some trips (if the COVID situation turns better).

  3. Hone my leadership skills.

  4. Read more books.

  5. We have recruited two more computational scientists joining us at Immunitas. Now, it is time to build up the team. I want to grow each of them to be the best version of themselves.

  6. I am humbled and honored to serve as the chair of @datacarpentry Genomics Curriculum Advisory Committee(CAC) starting in 2022. I look forward to serving and learning from the community.

That’s it for me! I am sure 2022 is very exciting and challenging. I enjoy keep learning and keep coming out of my comfort zone in order to grow.

Questions worth asking yourself

In every aspects of your life, such as social, at Home, Family, work, fitness, Hobbies

  • what worked well?
  • what didn’t work well?
  • How have you felt this year?
  • what’s made you happy?
  • what’s drained you?
  • what would you like to do differently next year?

I wish everyone a prosperous 2022!

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