Wenrong Yang

What is your current position, and what do you do?
I am Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. My group is interested in nanobiotechnology, nano/molecular electronics and chemistry of self-assembled systems. We study the chemical, physical, and biological properties of nanoscale materials and systems, ranging from nanostructured materials to small organic molecule, and biomolecules, individually or at small quantity. Our research is highly multidisciplinary and involves surface chemistry, electrochemistry, chemistry of nanomaterials and biotechnology. One goal of our research is to explore and understand new chemical phenomena, properties and functions at the nanoscale. The other goal is to transfer the research discoveries into practical devices and new applications that are relevant to promoting health and environments.

Describe your study/employment pathway
I received my PhD in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales in2002 with Prof. Justin Gooding and Prof. Brynn Hibbert, and my PhD project focused on peptides thin films based electrochemical biosensors for ultrasensitive detection of metal ions. I then worked as a CSIRO postdoctoral fellow in the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology group from 2002 to 2005. Working at CSIRO was an invaluable experience, giving me new insights into translating basic research into industry-relevant applications: one of my discoveries resulted in a patent. I moved back to UNSW as a postdoctoral fellow in 2005, working on electron transfer at the nanoscale for biosensing devices with Prof. Justin Gooding and Prof. Michale Paddon-Row. In 2007, I was awarded a University Research Fellowship and moved to the University of Sydney, where my research was focused on functionalization and characterisation of carbon nano-materials. I joined in Deakin University in 2010, and currently I lead a research group with 2 postdocs, 5 PhD and 2 visiting scholars at Deakin.

What has been your biggest challenge, career-wise?
At this stage, attracting research funding to continue to support and maintain the ongoing research.

What achievement are you most proud of?
It is a great joy when my students share their good news with me, in particular, when they move forward in their own careers. And the most exciting is to train and mentor each student in a manner unique to their personality, and to help make them successful.

What do you believe are the greatest attributes of a successful scientist?
Curiosity, Passion, Creativity and Persistence.

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