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Jingnan Lu’s Personal Story


“Chemistry didn’t interest me until I realized I could apply chemistry research to help others.”


Jingnan describes how she overcame the challenge of learning English as a teenager when she moved to the United States from China and realized from a research experience that she can use science to help people.

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  • MIT title

    Current MIT graduate student in Prof. Anthony Sinskey’s Lab

  • In your current work, where do you find inspiration/real-word application to your research? What about science continues to inspire you?

    Two of the main concerns facing our nation are fossil fuel shortages and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.  My current research investigates the conversion of a greenhouse gas into a liquid fuel.  This technology could potentially alleviate us from foreign oil dependence and produce home-grown fuel for our nation.

    Science inspires me in two ways: first, the constant discoveries and second, the ability to use science in applications that can benefit our society.

  • What is your favorite non-science book, blog, or magazine?

    My favorite non-science book is Sherlock Holmes.

  • Did you know how to play a sport or musical instrument? Which one?

    I was a varsity swimmer in high school and college.  I also played many instruments, including: accordion, piano, French horn, and saxophone.  Although I consider my favorite instrument to be myself, since I love to sing.

  • What kind of student were you?

    I am not sure. I guess it depended on what class I was in because I am usually very outgoing, active, and competitive in classes I like.

  • What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

    Beethoven-Moonlight Sonata.

  • If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

    Figure skate.

  • Do you have a favorite quotation about science?

    Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
    ~ Albert Einstein