Insight Diversity: IWD 2023 – Dr Lan Yang on passion and ambition in a research career

Submitted on Thursday, 16/03/2023

Dr Lan Yang (PhD, MEngSc, ME, BE) works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Unit for Social Semantics at Insight, University of Galway. Her research interests include formal ontologies, knowledge graphs, semantic web, big data, healthcare analytics, and medical informatics. Her current projects are OntoCommons – Ontology-driven data documentation for Industry Commons, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (2021 – 2023) and the DXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) Management Application Project (MAP), funded by the HRB Awards Secondary Data Analysis Projects (2021 – 2023).

What inspired you to pursue a career in research, and how did you get started in your field?

I think my decision to pursue a career in research comes from a variety of reasons. First is passion. Since I was a little girl, I have developed a deep love and curiosity for computers and wish to dedicate my career to understanding them better. Although there is an intellectual challenge, I feel I gradually developed critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, which are all exciting and intellectually stimulating for my career path. For choosing the intersection of informatics, engineering, and healthcare as a general area of study, I think I am driven by the impact that I can make by developing new information technologies, improving healthcare, and finding solutions to complex engineering problems. Research careers also offer many opportunities for advancement, personal and professional growth, and networking with other researchers. I got started with ‘real research’ when I was a Master’s student at Tsinghua University. I was truly lucky to meet my first supervisor, who held my hand and led me to the entry of healthcare informatics. He is always my role model and mentor and inspires me to pursue research as a career and become a professor like him one day.