December 2021 - BME Blaze: Jing Gong

Dec 01 2021

In this monthly spotlight, get to know the alumni, students, and scientists of Columbia's Department of Biomedical Engineering. Read what our BME folks are up to, from our labs' latest research, to our students' plans for the future, to our teams' innovations, start-ups and other career successes.

We sat down with Columbia BME alumna (MS/PhD '20) Jing Gong as she told us about her experience as a BME grad student in Prof. Kam Leong's lab and about her current role as Associate Director at Celdara Medical. Read below to get to know Jing!

 

Jing Gong, PhD

  • M.S./Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering – 2020 – Columbia University
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering – 2015 – UCLA

 

Where are you from?

Bay Area, California

 

What drew you to the field of Biomedical Engineering?

I got my BS in Chemical Engineering at UCLA, and was fortunate enough to spend time in a variety of research labs, ranging from neuropsychiatry to synthetic chemistry to biophysics. While I enjoyed spending my time answering complex questions, it was through a biotechnology course that I understood how to take engineering principles that I was learning in my coursework, and apply it to some of the significant challenges in public health. Since then, I have had a hard time pulling myself away from the extraordinarily complex challenges in disease, drug delivery and diagnostics.

 

What is your current role?

I am currently an Associate Director at Celdara Medical. I work with the New York team to provide technology sourcing, diligence, as well as technical and business strategy to the entire New York portfolio. Additionally, I manage multiple development programs spanning therapeutics and diagnostics.

 

Why did you choose Columbia BME?

Along with its great reputation and location; I chose Columbia BME because I wanted to pursue graduate research under Dr. Kam Leong. I was interested in understanding the potential improvements in therapeutic strategies that could be made through a drug delivery approach. As Dr. Kam Leong is an expert in biomaterials and drug/gene delivery, the decision was easy!

 

What was your proudest moment at Columbia?

Thesis defense! So nice to see the culmination of 4+ years of work and share this with colleagues/friends/family. It was kind of funny, as it happened at the beginning of COVID, so many of my friends and family (unexpectedly) joined the Zoom call and supported me.

 

How has your experience with Columbia BME contributed towards your goals? 

Columbia BME is part of the larger Columbia Research ecosystem. This allowed a lot of opportunity to understand the actual translation of highly innovative work occurring in lab. I was able to work as a Columbia Technology Ventures Fellow and understand how to assess and position technologies in the market/clinical flow. Additionally, through the Translation Therapeutics Accelerator, I gained my first experience as a project manager. All of these experiences provided me with a skills that I use at my job today and give me a good idea of what I am interested in doing in the future.

 

Any words of wisdom or tips for prospective BME students?

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the all the different flexibilities that being a BME student at Columbia provides. Use scheduling flexibility to nurture hobbies or career interests. Take advantage of the breadth of offerings within BME, from data science, hardware, software, therapeutics and synthetic biology.

 

What are you excited about?

While this past year has been challenging, it has also been a big year for biotechnology and there have been significant changes in the way public health, government and the market interface. I am extremely excited for how these changes might yield significant impact in fields like infectious disease and immune-oncology. I am very eager to be part of this impact.

 

 

  

Columbia BME is part of the larger Columbia Research ecosystem. This allowed a lot of opportunity to understand the actual translation of highly innovative work occurring in lab. I was able to work as a Columbia Technology Ventures Fellow and understand how to assess and position technologies in the market/clinical flow.

Jing Gong, PhD
M.S./Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University; Associate Director, Celdara Medical

Images (left to right): 

1. A Celdara New York team dinner with my coworker and our two fellows
2. Columbia Grad Photo

  

COLUMBIA BME ACADEMICS