Ji (Leo) He

Ji (Leo) He

Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of Science

The people at AUT have created the ideal learning environment for Ji (Leo) He who came to AUT to study a Master of Science and is now enrolled in a PhD.

“The valuable mentorship, the passionate staff and colleagues, great facilities and the multicultural environment have impressed me a lot during my years at AUT.

“I’ve also enjoyed attending the postgraduate ‘mix and mingle’ events as I get to know other PhD and postgraduate students, as well as the interesting research they’re working on.”

Support for international students
Leo came to AUT as an international student from China. He said the change was initially challenging, but AUT staff were able to help him settle into life in New Zealand.

“The AUT Student Hub staff are extremely patient. They help students out with all kinds of issues regarding study life, including the registration process, visa application and arranging discounted public transport through an AT Hop Card.”

As well as selecting a university to suit his careers aspirations, Leo also chose AUT because of the multicultural environment.

“I get to meet people from different parts of the world studying at the university; further helping me improve my communication skills.

“I would definitely recommend AUT’s postgraduate science programmes to others. They not only provide hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies and facilities, but also focus on critical thinking in biomedical science and the clinical implications of our research.”

Novel approaches to breast cancer treatment
Leo completed his Master of Science in biomedical science at AUT under the supervision by Dr Yan Li; an experience that inspired him to continue his studies with a PhD focusing on enhancing breast cancer treatment.

“The objective of my PhD research is to investigate membrane and microtubule proteins as biomarkers and targets for chemotherapy in human breast cancer. Targeting membrane transporters and microtubule proteins may represent a novel strategy to enhance sensitivity of tumour cells to classical chemotherapeutics, allowing tailored treatment with improved clinical outcomes and fewer side effects.”

Leo’s PhD research is supervised of Dr Yan Li and Professor Dong-Xu Liu from AUT’s School of Science. He feels confident that the valuable knowledge they pass on forms an essential foundation to further develop his biomedical research career.

He has enjoyed being able to share his work with other researchers and co-authoring an impactful research article published in oncology journal Cancers in 2019, says Leo whose studies are supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship.

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