Xizhou Zhang

Xizhou Zhang

Hey, I am Xizhou from China. I currently study Biochemistry and Cell Biology in Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. Even I knew from previous Jacobs students who participated in VISRA how amazing the program is, nothing prepared me for the inspiring and fun experience I had here in the warm Nashville.

Considering my interest in structural biology, VISRA gave me the chance to work in the lab of Tina Iverson. Here, I will, under the patient guidance of my supervisor, try to crystallize two oxidoreductase proteins encoded by baiCD and baiH genes that are important for the synthesis of secondary bile salts. This allows us to gain structural insight to how microorganisms catalyze equivalent reactions on stereochemically different substrates.

The program provides a summer taste of the life as a graduate student in Vanderbilt University. As participant, I had the chance to experience the full spectrum of Vanderbilt life inside and outside of the lab by trips to places like Schermerhorn Symphony Center. VISRA is also a great platform to meeting aspiring biomedical science students from all over the world.

I felt very privileged to be selected to join VISRA. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any student wishing to pursue a career in biomedical research.