May is Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi and Asian American Heritage Month. Throughout the month, The Daily will highlight members of the university community who are of Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi and Asian American heritage to celebrate their accomplishments as members of the campus community and shed light on their experiences at CWRU.
Bo Zhang appreciates any opportunity to share stories from his experiences growing up in the Shanxi Province in northwest China. From the region’s centuries-old, up-and-down history, to its special ideologies and philosophies, there’s no shortage of interesting tales.
“I think how my family thinks and behaves [is] heavily influenced by Confucian and Taoist culture,” he explained. “For example, my parents always taught me to be modest even when [I] succeed.”
Zhang has carried these lessons from childhood throughout his life, and applies them regularly in his studies at Case Western Reserve. Here, he values the university’s inclusive environment, which he complimented specifically for being “very friendly to this minority community before, during and after” the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[My] culture and habits are very well respected,” he added. “People [at] CWRU are generally willing to learn about our culture with much respect.”
Zhang completed his bachelor’s degree in Shanghai, and then traveled to Scotland as an exchange student for two years before moving to the United States to pursue his PhD in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve—a program he chose because of its “high ranking and good reputation.”
His research is focused on cartilage tissue engineering, cell and tissue bioreactors, microfluidics and drug delivery. As he puts it, tissue engineering creates the possibility for researchers to understand how tissue and organs are working inside our body—and he wants to be a part of that.
“The medical field is important to the health of humanity in general,” he noted. “My original passion is to explore new findings and make it accessible to all people.”
Zhang has been able to apply his studies at both Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Shanghai as a medical affairs intern and at Philips Healthcare in Cleveland, where he worked as a verification engineer.
He also is an entrepreneurial lead for a technology-transfer project in the Translational Fellows Program in the School of Medicine, where he’s helping conduct translational research on microfluidic devices. The project aims to recover oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin within red blood cells of banked blood due to prolonged storage.
Unrelated to his academic work, Zhang served as president of the Car Club, and he was the captain of a Chinese student basketball team.
Learn about other APIDAA members of the CWRU community, and stay tuned to The Daily through May to meet even more.