Student Successes

Tong Wu

Ph.D. Cellular and Integrative Physiology

What degree are you working toward?

Ph.D. in Cellular & Integrative Physiology

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

I heard about Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) through U.S. News when applying to graduate school in the USA. I discovered that IUSM is a pioneer in cancer, immunology, pediatrics, hematology, and metabolic diseases research. IUSM’s Indiana BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) program provides diversified rotation opportunities during the first 2 years of enrollment, which allowed me to gain a better understanding of available research opportunities in the different medical research departments and which is most suitable for me. In addition, IUSM strongly supports international students to ensure that they can pursue their career and research goals freely without concerns of living abroad.

I heard about Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) through U.S. News when applying to graduate school in the USA. I discovered that IUSM is a pioneer in cancer, immunology, pediatrics, hematology, and metabolic diseases research.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

My favorite academic accomplishment is participating in the first Annual Milestone Celebration and Banquet held by the IUSM graduate office this year with my mentor, Christie Orschell, who supports me a lot in my research work. Other favorite academic accomplishments are the opportunities to present my research at different scientific research societies, such as Radiation Research Society and American Society of Hematology, communicating with other investigators in similar fields of research, and contributing to our scientific community as best as I can.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

I like the diversified cultural environment in the downtown area of Indianapolis. There are many cultural festivals and entertainment parades, such as the Indy 500 festival parade held in May of each year, which is my first recommendation to my friends who want to visit Indy. Also, Indianapolis is a big city, but without the ‘hectic and chaotic’ life like other metropoles. Strolling or jogging along the canal walk when I feel tired from research is really a refreshing activity. It is a perfect city to live and do research.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

I am working in Dr. Orschell’s lab. My research involves our novel murine model of the hematopoietic acute radiation syndrome and delayed effects of acute radiation exposure for efficacy testing of potential medical countermeasures against these two syndromes. Our data show that prostaglandin, a hematopoietic stem cell survival agent, not only increases the survival rate of irradiated mice, but also relieves long-term thymus involution and subsequent immune suppression that is a serious problem for survivors of acute radiation exposure, as well as those receiving radiotherapy for cancer treatment.

There are many other activities I have participated in as a graduate student in IUPUI. I heard about these activities through Jagnews email, such as the volunteer services at Damar Services Center and Ronald McDonald House, the IUPUI International Program to experience a true American holiday with an American family, and the IUPUI History Month Events, which presents frequent seminars from different perspectives to help us know what has happened and is happening in our society.