Women Who Reign: Cindy Fang
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! I’m a grade 11 IB student at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario. I have a love for all things STEM, especially biology and mathematics. I am currently working in a University of Toronto lab doing research on mutated primary cilia dyskinesia proteins and planar cell polarity. My work mostly involves data analysis, using the programs ZEN ZEISS as well as ImageJ.
This year, I organized the Math@Mac contest at my school, and placed in the top 6% internationally with my partner for Physics@Mac.
Fun fact: I’m really into skincare and my daily skincare routine consists of up to 6 steps!
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
My favourite app is Spotify! It’s where I discover majority of my music, and I really appreciate the fact that I can easily download whatever songs I want. Music is very important to me, so this app comes in really handy!
I also really, really appreciate the National Center for Biotechnology Information website as there are a lot of papers on it that have helped me greatly in my research.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
As cliché as it sounds, my biggest inspiration is my mom! She has been through a lot of hard times in her life, and struggled with depression. Despite all this, she has been very successful in her career. She has two master’s degrees, one in chemical instrumentation and another in analytical chemistry. She’s the one that inspired my love for STEM! She has taught me the value of education, but also reminds me that there is more to life than just studying.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Over the past year, I’ve struggled a lot with my own mental health. I faced numerous rejections from various programs. I was at a point where I was doubting my own self worth, and if a career in STEM was even viable for me. But, I couldn’t imagine not pursuing a career in the sciences so I pushed through this “slump” by celebrating my achievements instead of focusing on the negatives. It’s definitely still a work in progress, but this year taught me a lot about myself I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
At this point in my life, I can’t say for sure what I want to do in the future, as it changes every few months. What I’ve been set on currently is to pursue a PhD in biochemistry and hopefully go into academia. I want to keep doing research in the future and I by becoming a professor, I would be able to do this whilst mentoring the next generation of scientists.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
If you want something, go for it! Don’t leave any “what ifs” in your life. It never hurts to try for something, even if you think you won’t get it. In STEM, a field mostly dominated by men, it’s important to be confident in your own abilities, especially when sometimes no one else is. Have faith in yourself and your abilities, don’t let others underestimate you, and most importantly, don’t be afraid of failure.