Cerebrum Winter 2022

COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENTIST Yidou (Gwen) Weng 2019 IBB Champion China

was to become part of a “smart, supportive community of like-minded people.” “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet peers who have the same passion. They are all so talented and have achieved so much at a young age,” she says. “I can’t say

that I’ve ever been in a circumstance where I’ve met such a high density of talented people. Honestly, I don’t recall the excitement of my win or the questions that I answered, but I remember the people and how we asked questions and exchanged ideas and had a lot of fun together.” l

Yidou (Gwen) Weng, 19, thinks that neuroscience remains

a niche subject in China. But when

she learned about the competition from her friends at Jiangxi Normal University, she was very interested in participating. After winning both the regional and national events in China, Weng spent more than six months preparing for the international competition that was held in Daegu, South Korea. “The IBB has different sessions than the China Brain Bee,” she explains. “You need to do a written test but also do neuroanatomy and patient diagnosis tasks. There was not a lot of resources at my school to help with this, so I watched a lot of YouTube videos.” After winning the IBB in 2019, Weng participated in several research projects that helped to foster her interest. She is currently a first-year student at the National University of Singapore, where she is studying computational biology. “I have spent a lot of time exploring neuroscience and figuring out what I want to do. And I think the IBB definitely influenced my career plans,” she says. “I feel like research is probably the way for me. My plan is to continue studying here and then go into a graduate program in computational neuroscience.” Certainly, Weng says, the IBB inspired her intellectually. But she says one of the greatest aspects of participating in the international level

During a visit to Chengdu City in Sichuan Province, Weng wore her Mulan costume while meditating in the gardens at the Wuhou Shrine.



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