Xiaoban Xin, a graduate of the Cellular and Structural Biology program, is now a Registered Patent Agent at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Washington, DC, one of the largest law firms focusing on intellectual property. After graduating from our program, Xiaoban was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University and then a Technology Transfer fellow in the Technology Development Office at NIH/NIAID. He’s currently studying for a JD degree at George Washington University. LinkedIn
1) Why did you go into science?
I got into science because of strong curiosity about how things work. I am always amazed by the delicate ways our body regulates itself. A more important motive is that biomedical sciences research can help saving millions of lives and improve people’s life quality.
2) Is there anything you would do differently if you got another shot at graduate school?
I would try the translational research fellowship offered at UTHSCSA. I think exposure to some technology transfer work is helpful to envision the big picture in the field.
3) Who has been your most important mentor and why?
Dr. Lily Dong. Lily’s passion for science is contagious and I learned so much from her. She is always supportive and encouraging. I still remember when I decided to join her lab after my rotations, she told me to “do your best and be prepared to be the best”. I learned critical thinking and attention to details, which are two key skills that can be carried on to any jobs.
4) What do you envision for the next 5-10 years of your career?
The current plan is to finish up school and become a patent lawyer. But it is not easy to predict what will be after 5 years. I think it is important to keep an open mind to opportunities that fit your passion.
5) What keeps you up at night?
I guess my baby who will arrive in a couple months will keep me up at night for a while. (Smiley Face)
6) If you could give our graduate students one piece of advice, what would it be?
Plan well. Graduate school can be long so make sure you get the most out of it.
7) Other than work, what do you do for kicks?
Traveling and road trips. I wish I have more time for these now.