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Name: Han Z.

Hometown: Jinan, China

Anticipated Major(s): Neuroscience and Public Health Studies

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply Early Decision? Hopkins first came to my sight in the non-fiction The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It appeared to me as a pioneer from bench to bedside in biomedical sciences, my long-standing passion since I was an inquisitive kid in my uncle’s clinic. The high-quality oncology and epidemiology courses I took on Coursera further confirmed my impression. It seems that there’s no better place for me to pursue and practice medical biology.

If you could teach one class at Hopkins, what would it be? (already exists or invented by you!) Medical breakthroughs in the Three Kingdoms Period. I’ve always wanted to explore how and why novel drugs like anesthetic cannabis were first used for surgery in such a chaotic wartime of Chinese history.
How has your family background or life experiences shaped you? My parents never call themselves “guides” or “educators;” to me, they’re been more like “supporters”. Both of them are truly successful leaders in their career, but they never tried to take control of my life. Consequently, I had to make those “big decisions” on my own. Choosing schools, training for high jumping, studying abroad… The responsibility initially seemed overwhelming, but the taste of being an adult was irresistible. I learned to follow my passion, take opportunities, and make up for my past mistakes. It’s the path of independence and willpower that led me to where I am.
What book, album/song, or TV show has had a profound influence on your life? The movie Interstellar. It really taught me how science is inextricably intertwined with human emotions.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (dream big!) I see myself pursuing a MD/MPH degree with a research specialization in neuroregeneration and infectious disease epidemiology. I expect to acquire first-hand experiences in countries like Zimbabwe and Rwanda as a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders. I’m looking forward to get involved in the global response for the next pandemic!