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Shao Wenwen
A student at UCAS BGI Special Program
A Relentless Pursuit of Knowledge: An Interview with UCAS BGI Special Program Student Shao Wenwen

Feb 27, 2024

Shao Wenwen Shao Wenwen

In a world where curiosity and determination intertwine to fuel the pursuit of discovery, Shao Wenwen, a current student of the UCAS BGI Special Program, embodies the relentless pursuit of knowledge and the desire to leave a mark on the world. At the core of her story is her academic foundation in life sciences.


Shao's story began at the School of Life Sciences at Fudan University, where she nurtured a passion for ecology and emerged with a master's degree that became a stepping stone to greater heights. Her thirst for knowledge led her to BGI, a place where she blossomed as a Biotechnology Assistant Research Fellow, immersing herself in the intricacies of plant genomics for three years. Here, Shao's dream gained clarity, leading her to successfully navigate the rigorous selection process for the UCAS BGI Special Program. Currently, she leads a project on the spatial transcriptome atlas of nodule development in two legume species and has achieved a series of breakthrough results in the field of plant spatiotemporal transcriptomics.


"The fascination with genomics, sparked during my time at BGI, fundamentally influenced my decision to explore this field further. It was there that I realized the immense potential of genomics to shape the future,” said Shao.

During her time at BGI, Shao primarily used spatiotemporal transcriptome technology, to study plant development and evolution, actively participating in several scientific research projects. In November 2023, the team that Shao was part of published their research findings in the international journal Nature Genetics. This research, leveraging BGI's spatial multi-omics technology, Stereo-seq, reported the most detailed and highest-quality genome assemblies to date for three Allium species, revealing the molecular mechanisms behind the formation and evolution of important traits in Allium plants. The study provides insights into understanding these ancient and valuable species and improving their cultivation and breeding. This study highlights the importance of high-precision genomic data in genetic analysis and biodiversity research.

The hands-on experience and the collaborative ethos at BGI instilled in her a profound appreciation for the integrated model of education that blends industry exposure with academic rigor, a philosophy she champions for its ability to equip young minds with the tools to tackle real-world challenges.


Shao's journey is a clarion call to future generations, a reminder of the power of integrating education, research, and industry to forge new frontiers in science. Her dedication to expanding the boundaries of current knowledge and contributing to transformative scientific discoveries serves as an inspiration to aspiring scientists worldwide. As she continues to explore the genetic blueprints of life, her story is a vivid illustration of the impact one individual can have on the scientific landscape, driven by a passion for discovery and a dedication to making a difference.