ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON MEDICAL SCHOOL THE I NNOVATORS Huaye Zhang, PhD: A Scientist with a Passion for Neuroscience—and Motherhood S B Y LY N D A RUDOLPH PORTRAITS BY JOHN EMERSON he has a 7-year-old son, a 3-year-old daughter, and a thriving career in science. No one ever told Huaye Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and cell biology, that it wasn’t possible. “Honestly, growing up in China, I never thought that being a woman was an issue. It never occurred to me to be a potential problem,” says Dr. Zhang. Her ability to balance family life and her career has earned her role-model status at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Zhang admits this isn’t about being perfect. In fact, it’s about accepting that you can’t be. Students often talk with her when they’re at the age of starting a family, worried that it can’t be done, ready to give up on advancing their careers. “I tell them, ‘You can do it,’” Dr. Zhang says. Her theory is that you can have two loves, as long as you realize that not everything is going to go perfectly. “Honestly, taking children out of the equation, I would possibly have published more papers and gotten more grants funded. Taking science out of the equation, I could have been a better mom, spending more time with the children. But when I ask myself if I would give up either one, I say no,” she says. 32 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE