Qi Wang

Qi Wang, MD/PhD student

Engineers biomaterials to guide cells

“Qi is an excellent graduate student and has been very productive on her projects during the PhD portion of the MSTP program…Qi also goes above and beyond to teach and mentor other graduate and undergraduate researchers in the lab.” – Kristan Worthington, associate professor, biomedical engineering

Hometown: Qing Dao, Shandong Province, China

Faculty mentor/advisor:
Kristan Worthington, PhD, associate professor, biomedical engineering, College of Engineering

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
Medical Scientist Training Program (MD-PhD), May 2026

Please describe your research:
My research involves using light-polymerized biomaterials for various applications such as improving our comprehension and the treatment of human diseases. I am currently using a combination of biomaterials as substrates to understand how fibrosis progresses in the lung. I am also studying various blends of biomaterials for advanced wound healing applications.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
Light-polymerized biomaterial is relatively versatile, allowing the creation of formulations with distinct stiffnesses and cell-interacting ligands. This innovative platform opens new avenues for understanding cell-material interactions, which are important not only for the study of human diseases but also for the development of therapeutics and scaffolding in tissue engineering endeavors.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I joined the University of Iowa as an MD-PhD student, so I was able to start in a research lab immediately after arriving.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
My training here nurtured my skills as an independent researcher and expanded my professional network. Moreover, it has equipped me with invaluable insights into the administrative side of research, which will be useful in my future endeavors as a physician-scientist.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
My goal is to become a physician-scientist in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. I hope to draw inspiration from my clinical experiences as a physician and enhance patient care through innovative research. I am planning on completing my residency and moving on to a career in academic medicine.

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