Rong obtained her BS in pharmacy and MS in pharmaceutical sciences from Tongji Medical University School of Pharmacy. After teaching at Tongji for 2 years, she came to Purdue to pursue a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry with Richard Borch in 2001. She worked on the design, synthesis and evaluation of phosphopeptidomimetic prodrugs for modulating SH2 domains. After graduation in 2006, she joined Phil Cole at Johns Hopkins University, where she developed a method to site-specifically introduce acetyl-Lys mimics into proteins by Cys alkylation to study the impact of protein Lys acetylation. In addition, she worked on histone demethylase LSD1 enzymology and inhibitor discovery. In 2011, she started her independent career as an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Medicinal Chemistry, where her lab primarily focused on mechanism, recognition, and inhibition of the protein N-terminal methyltransferases. In 2017, Rong returned to Purdue as an Associate Professor, where her lab continues to apply an interdisciplinary approach to understand the molecular mechanisms of protein post-translational modifications, design and synthesize selective and potent inhibitors to manipulate the epigenetic pathways, and to develop novel and targeted epigenetic therapies for cancer and other diseases.