Physiology Graduate Student Spotlight - Meet Xiaqiu Yang

Xiaqiu Yang is originally from China and she is pursuing her Master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Pagliardini.

2 March 2020

Xiaqiu Yang is from Chongqing, China. She is a first-year master student in Dr. Silvia Pagliardini’s lab.


How would you describe your research (brief)?
Our lab aims to gain an understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that control breathing and affect its function during sleep, when the majority of respiratory disorders of central origin occur. Using transgenic mice lines, combinatorial genetics and state-of-the-art technologies, I study about the cholinergic neuronal networks and their relationship with the breathing central pattern generator.

What inspired you to pursue your current research?
Breathing seems like an easy and simple thing in our daily lives. However, the mechanisms under breathing control is very complicated. Finding the secrets behind the respiratory control is a challenging and interesting thing for me to do. And the results of my research may help patients suffered from the respiratory diseases.

What impact(s) will your research have outside of your lab?
This research will bring a new understanding on respiratory regulation in different state, and will help to investigate novel interventions for the respiratory disorders.

What advice would you give to someone that is just starting graduate studies?
Please treat the research cautiously and seriously. Remember to take care of yourself.

What is your favorite place/thing to do here at the UofA or in Edmonton?
I love the winter here. Everything is covered by snow, making the city looks like a wonderland. The winter activities are very interesting, such as the skiing, the snowboarding, and the skating. I want to try all of them!