Jay (Yuan) Wang, MSc in Molecular Biosciences in Neuroscience, Interdisziplinären Zentrums für Neurowissenschaften (IZN), Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic and Rotary Club of Heidelberg-Schlöss), Global Grant Scholar, 2017-19

Jay Wang was born in China and grew up in Calgary. He received his Bachelor of Health Sciences, majoring in Biomedical Sciences, from the University of Calgary in 2014 with First Class Honours. A recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership, the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship, and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada Scholarship, Jay has a passion for science, learning, volunteerism, community services and global development. From collecting minerals and fossils to astrophotography, there are not many scientific fields that he is not interested in. Starting research in high school, he has experience in both medical and astrophysics research. Nothing fascinates him more however than the brain! Jay held a Global Grant Scholarship from District 5360 to study Master of Neuroscience at Heidelberg University, Germany; the Rotary Club of Heidelberg-Schloss was his host club.
In the pursuit of collecting a diverse toolkit of expertise and knowledge in neuroscience from the best around the world, Jay used the Global Grant Scholarship to develop a personalized and globalized education. He held two internships in Germany working on 3D transparent whole-brain scans, live-animal brain implants, and neural recordings for location memories. He was also accepted at the largest neuroscience institution in the southern hemisphere, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia, for an internship investigating the sensory-motor neural networks and related behaviours in animals. He learned microscopic brain surgeries on mice and optogenetic techniques to control neuronal activities with light. In Osaka, Jay found himself using a custom-made super-resolution microscope examining the biodynamics of single molecules traversing inside neurons in the largest Japanese research organization, RIKEN. This research was subsequently published in a book chapter. In addition, Jay interned at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Nobel Prize granting foundation, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Jay worked under another RIKEN-graduated professor, and the project focused on a new mechanism suspected for contributing to the formation of plaques in Alzheimer brains. Lastly, a practicum was carried out under a professor at the University of Cambridge with the research performed in collaboration in Tenerife, Spain. Jay received training on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on human participants to explore the brain regions involved in empathy, theory of mind and perspective taking, which have implications in social interactions and autism. The project turned into his thesis project for the master’s degree. His research experiences range from the smallest molecules and tissues to the whole-brain, live-animals and even human subjects and across the globe. None of this could not have happened without the support from the Global Grant Scholarship and Rotarians from around the world!
Jay enjoys personal and global development through volunteering and community services. Back at home, he volunteered with numerous health and science organizations and helped organize national science competitions for junior high and high students for Lets Talk Science and raised money for the Canadian Cancer Foundation through Relay for Life and UC Idol. Jay was also voted the Elected Official of the Year as the Students’ Union Faculty of Medicine representative. Abroad, he had volunteered with international communities in Kenya and helped with cancer fundraisers and Science Olympics in Germany. In both Germany and Australia, Jay was involved with the student neuroscience societies. Furthermore, he learned about local and international issues by experiencing numerous elections in Germany, Australia, Sweden, and Spain, and saw the refugee situations in person in Germany, Sweden, and Spain. Jay was active with Rotary clubs in most of the countries he had interned and lived. Jay is currently planning to continue his education towards a PhD and an MD and to work in the field of international development.
To find out more about where Jay’s career is taking him, visit his Linkedin page.