Speech of Scholarship Winner at 2016 SAPA-NE Annual Meeting

By Anna Zhou

Good evening. I am incredibly honored to be here with you. Thank you so much to the Sino­American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association New England (SAPA-NE) for selecting me as a recipient of your scholarship.

For me, life science means a lot. It makes me think of friends and family. Family has always been important to me. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved the holidays where all of us would get together. Those were the days where grandpa would set aside time to cook his signature garlic peanuts and when both of my grandmas were walking displays of their fanciest jewels. Those days were reserved for red­faced adults, clinking glasses, and ear­booming laughter. Even though we were only a family of seven, the amount of energy in the air would have made you think otherwise. Life science and research are important to me; I want to improve the quality of life of others, so that they too can spend and enjoy time with their families. Without health, there are no memories.

Since the dawn of civilization and the start of human life, there have been a couple important developments. I think one of the first major events was the industrial revolution. The predominantly rural societies became increasingly urban and industrial. The most famous cities were Chicago and Detroit; Detroit was known as the car capital of the world. The second is generally seen as the rise of Wall street and the stock market. The increase in economic activity started in New York. Next, the rise of internet technology, also known as IT, gave way to better forms of communication. The ideas were mainly concentrated in Silicon Valley. The next stage is seen as the breakthroughs and advances in life science and technology. Data and research are becoming increasingly important to support theories that may shed insight on improving health and quality of life. We all benefit from life science research. For example, life science brings us the discovery of new medicines and treatments for diseases.
As of right now, I’m leaning towards biochemistry. Biochemists explore the chemical processes that occur in living organisms. By focusing on what happens at a molecular level inside our cells in addition to studying their components, we can explore how cells communicate with each other, especially during cell growth and in times of illness. Biochemistry fascinates me because I want to understand how life works, which hopefully can lead to a deeper understanding of health and disease. Biochemists and scientists in the life sciences have been recognized by federal governments for contributing to national prosperity and improving the quality of life of others.

It’s amazing to know that there are so many organizations out there that are looking to help students pursue their passions. As the cost of attending college increases, I’m grateful to the SAPA-­NE for letting students know that financial matters will not prevent them from pursuing a higher education. Your investment means so much to me. Thank you!