Unveiling the Journey of Meiling Zhou: Exploring Genetic Variants in Diabetes Research

We are thrilled to announce that Meiling Zhou, a dedicated PhD candidate in Statistics, has been honored with a prestigious $3,000, 12-month grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. This grant recognizes her exceptional work and commitment to advancing research in the field of genetics, particularly in detecting genetic variants associated with diabetes. 

First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation for their invaluable support, acceptance, and acknowledgment.

-Meiling Zhou, PhD student, statistics
Meiling Zhou, PhD Candidate, Statistics

A Journey of Passion and Dedication

Meiling’s academic journey started in China with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Language & Literature with a focus on Cultural Anthropology. Her thirst for knowledge and interdisciplinary exploration led her to earn a second Master’s degree in Applied Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Northern Colorado. Undeterred by challenges, Meiling furthered her education by obtaining a third Master’s in Statistics at Michigan Technological University. Next up, a Ph.D. in Statistics.

Bridging Worlds: From Humanities to Mathematics

Meiling’s transition from the social sciences to the captivating realm of mathematics and genetic statistics reflects her unwavering curiosity and determination. She finds immense satisfaction in the world of research and thinking deeply about statistical methods in human genetics. Her passion lies in developing novel statistical methods that unlock new genetic variants, offering profound insights into the genetic factors contributing to human diseases like Type I diabetes, breast cancer, autism, and more.

Collaborative Excellence: Working with Prof. Kui Zhang

One of the highlights of Meiling’s journey is her collaboration with her advisor, Prof. Kui Zhang. Together, they dive into exciting ideas, navigate challenges, and share moments of laughter and discovery. Meiling attributes much of her growth and joy in research to this quote “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” from the famous Steve Jobs speech which was delivered after his cancer diagnosis and successful treatment. 

Embracing Michigan Technological University

For Meiling, Michigan Technological University is not just a place of education but a calling of destiny. Her journey alongside her husband and son has been enriched by the beauty of the campus and the supportive community. From jogging in Daniel Heights to studying in Fisher Hall, every moment has added to her appreciation for this vibrant academic environment.

Inspiring Future Generations

Meiling’s advice to aspiring graduate students resonates with her own journey: “How you start is not always a good indicator of how things turn out. Work hard, fueled by your passion, it is never too late!” Her words encapsulate the essence of perseverance and dedication, encouraging others to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

About the Mathematical Sciences Department

Mathematicians at Michigan Technological University conduct research and guide students, applying concepts to fields like business, engineering, healthcare, and government. The Mathematical Sciences Department offers undergraduate and graduate programs with degrees in mathematical sciences, applied statistics, and statistics. Students supercharge their math skills at Michigan’s premier technological university. They graduate prepared for successful careers in academia, research, and tomorrow’s high-tech business environment.

Questions? Contact us at mathdept@mtu.edu. Follow us on Facebook or read the Mathematical Sciences news blog for the latest happenings.