Cui is professor, National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC), Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology (NIAOT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); former president, Chinese Astronomical Society; and former associate director, Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy. She graduated from Nanjing University of Science and Technology (1975), and obtained her MSc (1982) and PhD (1995) at Purple Mountain Observatory and CAS Graduate School. From 2001-10, she was associate director, NAOC, and director, NIAOT. Her research focuses on astronomical instruments and technology for astrophysics. From 1985-86, she visited Jodrell Bank Observatory in England, and from 1986-94 she worked at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Germany, for the Very Large Telescope project (VLT). From 1994-08, in China, she built the innovative telescope LAMOST. In 2009, she was elected as CAS academician.