Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease.

Sir William Osler (1849 – 1919)

Luying Chen

Graduate Student,
Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
College of Pharmacy

Research Project:

“A technique that combines tradition with innovation.”

Linus Pauling Institute Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2018


Luying Chen was born and raised in Harbin, a multicultural city in Northeastern China. She traces her interests in human health and science back to early childhood, as her mother is a doctor and her father is a university chemistry professor.

After receiving an undergraduate degree from Sun Yat-sen University, Luying attended Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and achieved her Master’s degree in medicinal chemistry. With a focus on natural product chemistry and drug metabolism, her studies provided an appreciation for traditional Chinese medicines.

In China, disease treatment often involves a combination of traditional medicines and ‘Western medicine.’ Luying’s rigorous education focused on the metabolism of active ingredients found in the plants used for traditional Chinese medicine. This included characterizing the metabolites that are developed after administering these compounds to animals.

Now a student working with Dr. Richard van Breemen, Luying has learned more applications in mass spectrometry, which she calls “a technique that combines tradition with innovation.” During two internships in the pharmaceutical industry, she explored the use of these technologies in drug discovery.

Her dissertation work focuses on determining the interactions between botanical dietary supplements and drugs, a common issue for people around the globe. After graduation, she plans to develop new mass spectrometry bioassays for use in drug development.

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