TMU Podcast

Welcome to ‘Your Life, Your Way’ brought to you by Taipei Medical University! In this program, you will get to know the great stories of people from all over the world studying, researching, working and living in TMU. You will be able to find out more about your possible educational opportunities, research interests and career pathway. Come and join us!

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Dr. David-Jon Lundy

Background and getting started at TMU
Comfort with mistakes and failure
Managing academic relationships
Mental resources, work-life balance
Choosing a professor, TMU mentors
What makes a good student great
Making a productive start
Advice for life in Taiwan

Tips for Students Starting Graduate School

Hailing from Washington, UK, Dr. David-Jon Lundy chose a career in biomedical science over becoming a doctor so he could stay closer to the “science” side of medicine. After graduating with a PhD and a 6000-mile journey to Taiwan, he applied his skills in a post-doc research position at Academia Sinica, where he spent the next four years working to regenerate heart tissue. Now Assistant Professor at TMU’s Graduate Institute of Biomedical Materials and Tissue Engineering, Dr. Lundy finds himself in closer contact with the “people” side of academia, where he spends much of his time helping Master’s and PhD students navigate the difficulties – and sometimes strangeness – of the world of academia. In this episode geared towards prospective graduate students, we hear Dr. Lundy’ thoughts on making the most of what makes a good student great, managing academic relationships, and the importance of embracing failure.

Austin Changou

TMU Core Facility Center


Austin Changou, TMU Core Facility Center Director


The Core Facility Center and its role in education and research


TMU seven core facilities


Helping researchers through discussion – facing research failures


Core Facility staff and careers


TMU Core Facility services


Qualities of facility staff: patience, resourcefulness, consideration, kindness

The Crazy Scientist’s Tool Box

Modern medical researchers often require specialized services and equipment that are too costly or impractical for a single laboratory or department to provide. At TMU this need is addressed by the Core Facility Center, a centralized resource comprising seven separate research Cores with equipment and expertise in imaging, mass spectrometry, flow cyclometery, NMR imaging, natural compound isolation, bioinformatics, and single cell genomics. The TMU Core Facility Center is run by Director Austin Changou, who speaks with host Joseph Lin about how the Center acts as a kind of “crazy scientist’s toolbox”, whose expert staff not only provide training to student and faculty researchers in the use of over 40 precision instruments, but also bring patience, kindness, and consideration to the often stressful world of scientific research.

Dr. Niall Duncan


Dr. Duncan


Reproducibility and creating knowledge


Reproducibility and replicability


Positive or negative findings and changing social influence


Scientific discovery, publication, and integrity


Advice for postgrads



Doing it right: The Role of Reproducibility in Science

“Science” is often seen as a rigorous pursuit for truths about our world, with confirmation through replication of research at the core of the scientific method. Unfortunately, the ongoing replication crisis has led many young researchers to question whether science, as practiced today in universities around the world, prioritizes creating knowledge or simply getting published by any means necessary. Is replicability still a scientific value?

In this episode of Your Life Your Way, Dr. Niall Duncan discusses the role of replication in science, how imbalanced power relationships and perverse incentives can push researchers to – and past – the limits of academic integrity, and how grad students today can navigate the changing face of scientific research and communication.

Ting-Yi Zoe Wu

Student Counselling Center, TMU Office of Student Affairs

BSRS-5 self-assessment tool


mental health services during the pandemic


mental health stressors faced by international students


recognizing and coping with stress


mental health support at TMU


recommendations for good mental health


final thoughts

Mental Health Awareness for International Students

Study away from home is often stressful for international students, and life during the current pandemic has exacerbated many of the stressors that affect students’ mental health. In this episode, Ting-Yi “Zoe” Wu, psychologist at TMU’s Student Counselling Center, case manager for international students, and former international student herself, discusses mental health awareness for students – common and covid-related stressors, assessing one’s state of mind, strategies for coping with stress, and mental health services available to students at TMU.

Donya L. Francis


coming to Taiwan, education, and becoming an ambassador


St. Kitts and Nevis


how a journalist/teacher ends up at a medical school – the value of varied interests


TMU education and international cooperation


life and hospitality in Taiwan

Be Limitless: Be You

Educator, communicator, and global health expert Donya L. Francis has journeyed twice to Taiwan, first earning two degrees while working as a teacher and journalist. Having gained experience teaching, as a journalist, and with a master’s degree in global health and development, Francis has recently returned as ambassador for St. Kitts and Nevis. Taking the position at only 32 years old, Francis’s experience shows the usefulness of a multidisciplinary background in reaching one’s goals. In this episode, Ambassador Francis talks about the value of varied interests, experiencing Taiwan, and how goals, skills, and education can be used to benefit of people on opposite sides of the world.

Dr. Eisner Salamanca

Introduction and background
The teaching, research, and practice triangle
Dr. Eisner’s research
Why Taiwan, why TMU?
Future plans, suggestions for students –

The Dentist-Scientist Career Pathway in Taiwan

He’d originally planned to return to his native Nicaragua, but after language classes, graduate study, and an assistant professorship at TMU’s School of Dentistry, Dr. Eisner Salamanca is still excited to be in Taiwan. In this episode, Dr. Salamanca covers the importance of early oral hygiene, Taiwan’s advantage connecting research, teaching, and practical experience, and his research developing bone graft materials made using pig tissue. After more than ten years in Taiwan and almost as long at TMU, Dr. Salamanca emphasizes the dual benefits of one of his lab’s rules: balancing work and leisure – to help students make the most of their Taiwan study experience and to work better by relaxing their brains.

Dr. Philip Tseng

Philip Tseng, Graduate Institute of Brain, Mind and Consciousness

Dr. Tseng’s projects

Brain and Cognition Lab, Shuang Ho Hospital


Philip Tseng, Director, Graduate Institute of Mind, Brain and Consciousness


Working at Volkswagen – the psychology of drivers


The 10% myth


Social conformity and culture


Cognitive psychology – neurology spectrum


Transitioning from industry to academics


On detecting deception


Neuroscience in Taiwan and advice for students


Current GIMBC projects

Cognitive Neuroscience in Academia and Industry

For many, the title “psychologist” is synonymous with “mind reader”, though that’s not quite how cognitive neuroscience works according to Dr. Philip Tseng, Vice Dean and Director of TMU’s Graduate Institute of Mind, Brain and Consciousness. Dr. Tseng, a self-described member of a “weird group of neuroscientists, philosophers, engineers, and psychologists”, joins host Joseph Lin in this episode of TMU’s Your Life, Your Way podcast for a conversation that touches on topics as diverse as Dr. Tseng’s research, including commonly held ideas about psychology, differences between cognitive neuroscience careers tracks in Taiwan and abroad, transitioning from industry and academia, and the science of detecting lies.

Nigel Chew


Background, the TMU education experience


Anti-cancer drug screening at MTAM Tech


Personal motivations and the job


Advice for students

Alumni Stories: What’s next after my Ph.D. (A TMU Spinoff, with Nigel Chew)

The path that brought Nigel Chew to Taiwan almost eight years began during a hiatus from a career in the chip manufacturing industry. Deciding to follow his interest in biotechnology, he came to TMU where he earned a Master’s degree, then a PhD. Now, Nigel uses his experience in business and biotech – and his deep sense of social responsibility – to help bring a TMU spinoff company’s technology to the public: a possibly life-changing anti-cancer drug screening method for personalized medicine.

Dr. Ted Chia-Kwung Fan

Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases, School of Medicine, TMU

Dr. Fan’s research

Dr. Fan on Facebook


“Professor Worm” Dr. Ted Chia-Kwung Fan and the Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases


“Neglected” tropical diseases and the role of the Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases


Neurocysticercosis – the pork tapeworm


NTD research Eswatini


Getting into parasitology: protozoans, sleeping sickness, and Out of Africa


TMU research work in Eswatini


Life in Africa


Sincerity and respect in international collaborations

Mobilizing Research to End Neglected Tropical Diseases

Most educators would likely balk at the title “Professor Worm”, but for someone with Dr. Ted Chia-Kwung Fan’s experience in parasitology the nickname is considered a compliment. Dr. Fan has been delving into the molecular mechanisms of parasitic diseases for the greater part of two and a half decades, starting his career at Taipei Medical University’s Department of Parasitology in 1995, and spending months at a time for the past 13 years conducting field research in Africa. Now Director of TMU’s Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases, Dr. Fan oversees an international team of researchers working to understand and control “neglected” tropical diseases in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. In this episode of Your Life, Your Way, Dr. Fan discusses his passion for parasitology, working and living in Eswatini, and the value of sincerity for international collaborations.

Dr. Yu-Chuan Jack Li


Dermatology, AI, and medical diagnosis


The evolution of machine learning


Data quality, privacy, and implementation costs


ASKIN telemedicine


AESOP prescription safety


PROPHET health threat prediction


Advice for students

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, with Dr. Yu-Chuan Jack Li

Every medical student knows that knowledge is vital for making medical diagnoses, but the process of memorization often exposes weaknesses in the human ability to retain and process data. In an increasingly digitized world where new medical data is created faster than at any previous time in history, could computing tools able to process information stored on the net be trained to reason as well as doctors? According to Yu-Chuan Jack Li, who’s pioneered AI technology in medicine for over thirty years, advances in data science, falling hardware costs, and increasingly sophisticated algorithms make now the best time ever to realize the future of AI in medicine. And with the computing tools he’s developing, like AESOP, MoleMe, and ASKiN, the future of medical AI may be closer than you think.



Introduction: Academics, Commercialization, and spinoff companies


Differences between being a student and a spinoff employee


Funding new technologies, SPARK and beyond


Academic vs commercial exhibitions


Networking and local evidence


MTAMTech today


Advice for prospective spinoff starters

Building a Biotech Spinoff (Part 2 from Nigel Chew)

In this second episode highlighting TMU spinoff MTAMTech, Nigel Chew returns to talk with host Joseph Lin about his experience building a company. This time he’s brought new R&D hire (and fellow TMU graduate) Vincent Chen to discuss commercializing research, the ins and outs of how spinoff companies work, and some differences between academia and business. Together with host Joseph Lin, they discuss how spinoffs are funded, the bridge they create between research and products, and the importance of boots-on-the- ground networking. Although building a spinoff can be an arduous process, it’s one that can benefit both universities and patients – and create a sense of meaning for all those involved.

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