Review 2022

Every year, I write a review for the past 12 months. Find my review for 2021.

Some top wins:

  1. Anna was born in September! It is a lot of work with three kids, but they are cute!

  2. I am grateful for our CSO Thomas Tan, who has confidence in me to lead the team. We built an amazing computational biology team at Immunitas. I am so fortunate to have Matt, Tim and Michelle in the group. Internally, Matt made several snakemake pipelines for processing single cell data and doing data analysis; Tim made an R package to interact with our curated single-cell datasets on google cloud. Our co-op student Dillion is amazing and he and Matt developed a python package Monkeybread to analyze spatial transcriptome data. We have a Merscope machine set up in the company! Our leading program is in the Phase I clinical trial and I am thrilled to see our direct impact for patients.

  3. Speaking is cheap; write everything down. We keep a google document for the priorities and 3 months goals. For each project, we have a written document for the rationale, analysis plan and paper references. This is a game-changer for me. You easily forget things unless you write it down. It also makes our thoughts clear through writing and we have a map to follow once we have it.

  4. Our Toastmasters group held 18 toastmasters meetings in 2022. We meet every two weeks on Sunday morning. It is a lot of commitment but I am glad I attended 12 meetings taking different roles. I am now in Level 2 of the Presentation Mastery pathway.

  5. I self-published a book: From cell line to command line! Thanks to my wife. She encouraged me and supported me so I have time to write in in the early morning or in the late night. I first had an outline and then I revisited my github repos/gists and old blog posts from the past 10 years to fill in the contents. It is still quite some effort to put them together. I am so happy to get emails around the world thanking me for this book. I wish it can help many others to learn computational biology. For a 20% off, grab it at:

  6. I took 2 communication classes, 2 leadership coaching sessions, one online people management class on Edx, one management class from FoundertoLeader, and one machine learning class on Edx. I shared my notes with other managers too. Tim and I took the machine learning class together and I am glad he got a certificate too. I learned a lot from Jaye in FoundertoLeader Management 101:

Management consist of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.

Your job as a manager is to support your employees; they do not serve to support you. Your job is to help them shine. They are not here to help you shine. If you really believe this, everything else will follow.

Always ask during 1-1 meetings: How can I support you?

I practiced getting up early at 6 am and drove to work before the baby was born. My commute is about 45 mins and I totally enjoyed the time to listen to podcasts and audio books on blinkist. Blinkist summarizes books into 15-25 mins audio.

Believe it or not. I finished over 200 books in 3 months. I learned a lot in leadership, management, finance, and self-improvement. Some books I enjoyed:

  • atomic habits
  • Dare to lead
  • the 8020 principle
  • the 7 habits of highly effective people
  • the coaching habit
  • radical candor
  • True north
  • measure what matters
  • deep work
  • the power of less
  • the one thing
  • can’t hurt me
  • extreme ownership
  • the miracle morning
  • The 5AM club
  • Doing the right thing right
  • The great mental models
  • Range
  • think again
  • The daily Stoic

Podcasts I enjoyed:

  • John Maxwell Leadership. Very inspiring speaker. I still need to learn how to substantiate the learning to my daily work. Be authentic and better myself every day.
  • A bit of optimisim by Simon Sinek. I listened to all his episodes. This guy is Amazing. I could not help laughing with him when I was listening.
  • Theory and practice Talks about AI as a hammer to hit the nails.
  • The long run The podcast for me to catch up with what’s happening in biotech.

The first thing I do when I arrive at the office is to take 20 mins to write down the key take-aways from the podcasts or audio books. Then, take the 20 mins to reflect and write the thoughts down on a journal (e.g., things grateful in my life). the last 20 mins for the first hour is to make a plan for the day writing to-do list and set priorities.

I am using Zettlr as Zettelkasten to take smart notes.

I have a collection of all the materials that I learned. Once I want to write something, I go to my notes and summarize the notes across different days. I wrote several linkedin articles on management summarizing what I learned from the classes/podcasts/audiobooks. You can find them at

what are the misses

  1. Even I got up at 6 am, I went to bed late during 12 am -1 am. I will need more sleep.

  2. I did not lose weight, I will need more exercise. Our company is moving to a new building, and we have a gym downstairs. I will use it! Take care of my physical health, then the mental health.

  3. The family did not go out for a trip. I am really bad at it; but I am going to improve it in 2023.

Goals for 2023

  1. Spend time on what’s important. 80% of your success will come from 20% of your work. Support our clinical trial and other programs at Immunitas. Patients are our first priority.

  2. Foster a learning environment for the compbio group, nourish everyone to make them shine. I bought 3 copies of Machine Learning with PyTorch and Scikit-Learn: Develop machine learning and deep learning models with Python for the group. In our Friday teach and learn session, we will go through some lectures by Matt for bayesian statistics, and I will talk about Snakemake/reproducible computing and tricks. Tim will teach us more on R package. I hope Michelle can teach us Rshiny too.

  3. Take some vacations. I did not take a day off (except for the paternal leave). I need to set up a good example.

  4. If you ask what I am missing from academia, I would say publishing (not the process). In industry, publishing is not our top priority, but who knows, we may find some time to write up MonkeyBread!

Happy New year! and I hope everyone have a strong head start in 2023.

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