Zheng Yin is in the College of Pharmacy at Nankai University, and works on chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.
1. What made you want to be a chemist?
I was truly attracted by chemistry when I had the module of organic synthesis as undergraduate student. I was fascinated by the logic of connecting bonds and eventually being able to creatively produce new molecule that can change the world.
2. If you weren’t a chemist and could do any other job, what would it be – and why?
Never thought about it. Probably as an entrepreneur to start a business. The reason is the risk and initiatives associated in the process.
3. What are you working on now, and where do you hope it will lead?
I am working on the interface between chemistry and biology, specifically several essential viral proteins such as 3C, 3D etc. My dream is to create a novel molecule that can be clinical useful for the treatment of those infected children during EV71 outbreak.
4. Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with – and why?
Mother Teresa, 1979 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. I was very much inspired by her legacy and being enlightened with the meaning of life.
5. When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab – and what was it?
I did the synthesis of nucleoside derivatives together with my first student in the lab of Nankai University about 2 years ago. It’s truly fun to work on the bench.
6. If exiled on a desert island, what one book and one music album would you take with you?
The book is “The old man and the sea” (written by Ernest Hemingway). The album is likely Moonlight Sonata by Benthovan.
7. Which chemist would you like to see interviewed on Reactions – and why?
Paul Anderson, one of the top pharmaceutical industry chemists. He is truly one of the role models in drug discovery.