Dr. Dong attended M.I.T. for a number of years and eventually earned her Ph. D in Chemistry. Coming from a Vietnamese-American family, Dr. Dong feels that she grew up with the best of both worlds. Eastern tradition combined with Western education, she believes, is a powerful and motivating combination. A true Renaissance woman, her passion for chemistry and biological engineering is just a small part of her exceptionally well-rounded approach to academics.
An assertive and confident character, Dr. Dong makes no bones about her intense drive for success. Originally transferring from community college to state school, it did not take long for her professors to recognize both her talent and motivation. Upon strong recommendation from her professors and mentors, she was accepted into a Masters/PhD program at MIT after graduation.
During her time at M.I.T., she got to work very closely with some of the greatest chemists, physicists, and geneticists on the planet. Her dissertation was a foray into the theoretical dynamics of complex intracellular nano-technological systems, and the promise they may hold for curing various diseases. This work was notable for its compelling content as well as its erudite-yet-accessible style. Having earned her doctorate, as well as various grants and fellowships, Dr. Dong was able to take time off to pursue her other passions.
Steven Jay Gould was an inspiration to Dr. Dong in her formative years. In particular, she was moved by his mastery as a writer, and felt that it clearly informed his scientific genius. As such, Dr. Dong has made great effort to continually practice and improve her essay skills, even when engaged in purely scientific pursuits. While residing in Cambridge at M.I.T., she had more than a few opportunities to meet with her idol before he finally – and sadly – passed away from mesothelioma.