Homepage of Liang Cai

Acknowledgments to people helped me in my graduate study

written on 2007-12-12, by cail.cn

A great many people have helped me during my study. I owe my gratitude to all those people. Thank you very much.

My deepest gratitude is to my adviser, Dr. James Bear. I am amazingly fortunate to have an adviser who gave me the freedom to explore, and at the same time, the guidance to recover when my steps faltered. Jim taught me not only about how to perform experiments efficiently, but also about how to write and express ideas clearly. Most importantly, he taught me about how to question thoughts and progress further based current understanding.

Dr. Dorothy Schafer, an outstanding biochemist and extremely careful scientist. She taught me all the knowledge about actin and actin biochemistry, and allowed me to use all the resources in her laboratory to explore the function of my protein.

Dr. Patrick Brennwald is very helpful during my graduate study. His insightful comments and suggestions at different stages of my research were thought-provoking. It is because of Pat's advices that really helped my projects progress smoothly.

Dr. Michael Schaller is one of the best teachers that I have had in my life. When I just started my graduate research, I did a rotation with Mike, where I had successfully mapped my protein's phosphorylation site. First victory was always enjoyable, and also built my confidence to challenge myself in a deep extent. Another important lesson from this rotation experience is that practice makes perfect.

Dr. Keith Burridge and his laboratory have been my shelter during the course of graduate study. I am grateful to him for his encouragement and many practical advices. I would like to thank all the members of his laboratory for their continue support from various aspects.

Dr. Vytas Bankaitis, the chair of the department, is always busy; but he cares about students. He not only puts pressure on every student, but also gives suggestions about what students should do to survive in the graduate school. I am fortunate enough to have him as my committee member, and I am grateful to him for holding me to a high research standard.

Dr. Klaus Hahn and Dr. Steve Rogers are my committee members as well. I am very thankful to them for reading my reports, commenting on my research and helping me choosing my future research direction. Every suggestion they gave is proved to be valuable.

I had my first rotation with Dr. Kenneth Jacobson. It was the time when I just arrived the states, and had many class to take. It was his geniality helped me pass that jet-lagging period. His laboratory has enormous experiences with fluorescence microscopy, which proved to be a great source for my research. Specially, I would like to thank Dr. Zenon Rafur and Dr. Aaron Neumann.

Dr. Dazhi Wang, Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh and Dr. Ellen Weiss have been given suggestions and help to my research, and I am grateful to their support.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been an extreme cytoskeleton research community. I would like to thank Eric Vitriol and Sabrice Guerrier for the wonderful cytoskeleton meeting. I would like to thank Dr. Richard Cheney, Dr. Carol Otey, and Dr. Alan Fanning for their continually encouragement.

I am also indebted to past and current members of the Bear Lab with whom I have interacted during the course of my graduate studies. Particularly, I would like to acknowledge Nicholas Holoweckyj, Thomas Marshall, Andrea Uetrecht and Dr. David Roadcap. Tom and I have many interesting conversations for scientific discussion, and for entertainment. Andrea modified the original lentiviral vector and revolutionized the cell biology research in our laboratory. I am grateful to Thomas Marshall, Heather Aloor and James Bear for critical reading of the thesis.

Dr. Alexander Makhor in Dr. Jack Griffith's laboratory has been my closest collaborator in the past two years. We challenged each other with various electron microscopy techniques and took wonderful images to reveal the truth.

I am also grateful to the staffs in the department, for their various forms of support during my graduate study, specially Gina Williams and Janice Warfford.

Many friends have helped me through these years. Their support helped me stay focused on my graduate study. I greatly value their friendship and I deeply appreciate their belief in me. I have to give a special mention for the support given by Dr. Zhen Yan, Mei Zhang, Yang Liu, Dr. Wei Zou, Jian Yang, Dr. Xinming Cai, Dr. Yiwen Chen, Jianfu Chen, Qi Zhang and Dr. Jian Ma.

Dr. David Threadgill, Dr. Larysa Pevny and Dr. Terry Magnuson have been extremely helpful during the period I was looking for my post-doc laboratory. I give my deep gratitude to them.

Most importantly, none of this would have been possible without the love and patience of my family. Living and studying outside my home country are not easy. They have been my constant source of love, concern, support and strength all these years. I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude to them.

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