How has your interest in cancer nanomedicine evolved over the course of your co-op?
Over the course of my time with CanCURE, my interest in cancer research has grown immensly. Cancer is a huge problem that still plagues us and there is a lot of exciting work that is going on here. Not all of it is directly nanomedicine related, but there are aspects that permeate through in treatments, such as the biochemistry involved, the different carriers of medicine, and the targets involved. It is very exciting to be a part of. So much so, that I will be trying to return to work as a technician once I graduate before applying to medical school. I am now more open to oncology than ever before.
What was the most unique element of your CaNCURE experience?
The most unique aspect of my CanCURE has been my co-workers and the work that they do. As mentioned before, my co-workers are students in the virology program here at Harvard. They have shown me the ropes on how to do basic research, how to set up experiments, how to interpret results, and most importantly, how to think about research. This has proven to be invaluable as these skills are transferrable to almost anything that is scientifically related. I feel as if I am leaving this experience with more professional and intellectual growth than I thought possible, and that is something that I cannot put a price on. My coworkers have offered me great insight and they were all awesome teachers.
What program component (mentoring, research experience, seminars, etc...) had the most meaningful impact on your goals for the future?
The best component of the program is definitely the mentoring. The mentoring and the training that I received from my coworkers has made this program fun and unforgettable. This experience has allowed me to begin developing as a scientist and has fostered a great appreciation for research. This is something that I have considered doing in the future. I am still set on medical school but oncology and cancer research is something that I am open towards. Cancer immunotherapy is something that is growing as a field and it is something that I am open towards. The research in this field is very exciting and I am thankful for the introduction to it through the CanCURE program.
What unanswered questions have developed over the course of your project? How could these questions be addressed?
The unanswered question that I have developed and want answered at the end of this experiment is what is lactate doing in the cell? I have a theory and a result that I want to see but it is the end goal of the project. I am saddened that I was not able to finish in time but I was still able make a lot of progress during my time here. I would love to have more time to finish the project and see the end result of it all. It is very interesting!