The Department of Neuroscience recognizes faculty and staff each month whose hard work and dedication contributes to our mission and whom we’re proud to have on our team. Find out more about the spotlight of the month below!

Lai_Wenmin_460x460May 2021 Staff Spotlight, Wenmin Lai

Where are you from originally and what led you to Ohio State?

I am originally from China. I was first hired by The Ohio State University back in 1999.

What lab do you work in and what type of research to do facilitate?

I work in Dr. Phil Popovich’s lab in the Department of Neuroscience and facilitate spinal cord injury research.

What do enjoy doing in your free time, outside of work?

Outside of work, I like Chinese folk dancing, running, hiking, cooking, skiing.

What drew you to the field and the role you play in the Department of Neuroscience?

I am currently a Research Associate and have historically focused more on molecular biology. In the last two years, I have been working to extend my focus to surgery as it relates to spinal cord injury research.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

My mom. She is 74 years old right now takes care of my father who has very end stage dementia. She is happy every day and never complains. Her positive attitude and optimistic view for all the things inspires me a lot.

What is your favorite movie, book, or band/singer/songwriter? 

My favorite movie is Forrest Gump! First, I like Tom Hanks. Second, the movie is about a man with a mental disability but has good intentions. He faces many tribulations throughout his life, but he never lets any of them interfere with his happiness. He believes that good things will happen and goes after his dreams. On this earth, no one is insignificant. Everybody can build their own place in this world and unknowingly change the flow of things. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I am working to become more patient when coaching/mentoring. It is rewarding getting good data and seeing students learn faster and do the right thing under my guidance. I hope neuroscience study can really do something to improve the lives of patients with neurological disease.

Do you have any insights or advice to those who are interested in Neuroscience?

First of all, you must love the field of neuroscience. If you do, just do it!

What else should we know about you?

My family of four is lives in Dublin, OH. I have a girl who will become a sophomore next year in college, and a boy who is a currently in 6th grade. They are happy and healthy. We have a happy family!