Wenhan Zhu & Ryan Fansler - VI4 Scientists Doing Things

Dr. Wenhan Zhu and graduate student Ryan Fansler challenged each other to a pipette race while we asked them some questions about their research!




Video Transcript

Wenhan Zhu (W): Is that a question for me or for Ryan?

[off screen] Kaitlyn Browning (K): Anyone who wants to answer.

Wenhan Zhu (W): I volunteer Ryan.


VI4 Scientists Doing Things

Ryan Fansler (R): My name is Ryan Fansler. I'm a third-year graduate student in the Microbe-Host Interactions PhD program.

(W): I’m Wenhan. My lab is in PMI (Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology) and we study commensal resilience mechanisms

(K): On your mark, get set, go!

[What does your lab study?]

(W): The good bacteria in our gut do a lot of amazing things for us. Right? So if they die, we get into trouble. We're trying to find out how they can survive went the times are tough. So if they can survive that would be beneficial to us as a host. For a shorter answer, we work on how bacteria find food.

[What is your favorite part of being a scientist?]

(R): Being able to figure out things in the biomedical world that can help people but also getting to have fun while you're doing it and learning new things all the time.

(W): D8. I think it's off by 4.

(R): Wenhan won by 4.

(W): And this is actually a really bad pipette!


(K): Ready, set, go!

[If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?]

(W): I would go sell cars. I guess I have a passion for vehicles and I think it's fun.

(K): Do you like to negotiate?

(W): Not particularly. I think I would be good at presenting the vehicles to the customers.

(R): I think I would like to be a TV show writer. Me and my fiánce love watching shows and yelling at the TV and arguing about the way it should have happened. So I would like to write about what happens on TV shows.

[How would you explain your research to your grandma?]

(R): We are trying to figure out how the good bacteria survives so that they can help you.

(W): Make her tummy feel better.

(K): Time's up!

(W): Oh, he won this time!

(K): On your mark, get set, go!

[If you could be a bacterium, which one would you be?]

(W): Um, I would like to be the bacteria that we are looking at which is Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron because this is a pretty smart and sneaky bacteria that finds very smart ways to survive.

(R): I would probably pick the other bacteria that is kind of the villain in our stories, salmonella, because it seems like it always finds a way to win. 

(K): Time's up!

(W): Still got it!

(R): Yep, Wenhan's still got it!

(W): I guess I work too much on the bench!