How do I get involved / promote scientifc research?

Science needs everyone's support! One can donate to science foundations, invest in research and high tech companies, support government policies that increase funding and benefit scientists, support politicians who promote science. One can give more attention to scientific progresses in the news, spread the news on social media, mention the news to family, friends and colleagues. One can encourage him/herself and his/her kids and students to learn more about science, it is fun and inspiring.

Think twice before choosing a career as a scientist, though.

How do you like being a scientist? Would you recommend this career path?

I enjoy scientific research a lot! But I would only recommend this career to really motivated, hard working people with some talent. Being in academia comes with a lot of costs. The job (not well-paid) competition is fierce and the progresses of other aspects of life likely will be delayed (on average). Quit and switch early and do not procrastinate until one is trapped. My opinion is that more selective, much fewer graduate student entry and much better compensation to postdocs and staff scientists will make the environment healthier.

What approaches are you using to study development?

We study development using a range of methods, from direct observation to genetic perturbations, and to quantitative modeling. More recently, we started to incorporate soft matter physics tools to detect and apply forces in the developing tissue. After collecting and analyzing quantitative data, we attempt to formulate models that explain them, or test previous models. These models then generate interesting predictions which further guide experiments.

Why are you interested in developmental biology?

Watching a single cell becoming an individual with eyes and brains is amazing! Studying this basic process would help us understand life including ourselves better and would ultimately benefit many aspects of human health.