Yolanda Huang Yiyue ’26 Named Amgen Scholar

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Apr 25 2024

Yolanda Huang Yiyue ’26 has been selected for the 2024 Amgen Scholars Program. This summer, she will join nine other students in an eight-week biomedical research program at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University. Each scholar will have a faculty member as a mentor and a postdoc, technician, or graduate student will be assigned to train the scholar in the lab. 

Sponsored by the Amgen Foundation, the program provides undergraduates with opportunities to conduct research at 25 top universities and research institutes around the world. In addition to conducting research alongside top faculty, Amgen Scholars participate in seminars and networking events, and take part in symposia with their peers and leading scientists. They will be provided with tuition housing, meals, air tickets, and a living stipend.

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Yolanda Huang presenting research at the First-year Fellowship Circle program.

“Being selected for this program is a great opportunity to do research at Tsinghua, one of the top universities in China,” said Huang. “I think this program will also provide some insight into the field of pharmaceuticals and an extension to my knowledge.”

Huang, who is vice president of NYU Shanghai’s Society in Natural Sciences club, has pursued research opportunities throughout her time on campus, working with Professor Jun Zhang in his lab as a research assistant. Last year, she was a member of the pioneer cohort of the University’s First-Year Fellowship Circle program, organized by the Office of Global Awards. She received guidance from Professor Zhong-Lin Lu  who advised her on coursework, research, and external opportunities. 

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Yolanda Huang, center left, after a performance in 2023 at NYU Shanghai.

Professor Lu guided her research on brainwave recognition of emotions and its connection to music creation, a topic which Huang became interested in during her high school years, where she gained foundational knowledge through a Research-Like Learning Project. Lu said that despite only being in her sophomore year, Huang displays a strong interest and considerable potential in scientific research. “She diligently reviewed assigned papers, explored additional references, and through several discussions, successfully crafted a research proposal,” he said. “Yolanda demonstrates a deep commitment to science.”

Professor Steve Iams, who teaches Huang in his EAP course and serves as an advisor for Global Awards, was not surprised to hear the news of this achievement. . “Yolanda's selection as an Amgen Scholar is a testament to her outstanding potential as a scholar as well as the strength of faculty-student mentorship at NYU Shanghai,” he said.

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Huang performing oboe at the End-of-Semester Show in Fall 2022. 

After her participation in the Amgen Scholars Program, Huang will head off to New York for two semesters of study away at NYU New York. She says she is looking forward to continuing research on music-induced emotions and hopes to take a course on Psychology of Music. “I've always been interested in biology since I was very young but particularly neuroscience,” she said, “because I think that there are many things we don't really understand about our brains.” Huang says she hopes to continue on in her research in neuroscience and study it for an advanced degree.