Genetics are Going to “Revolutionize the Field” of Cancer Treatment

Genetics are Going to “Revolutionize the Field” of Cancer Treatment


“Hi, my name is Amy Sherborne, I’m a post-doc in the Nakamura Lab here at UCSF.
And we’re looking at secondary cancers, so this is when people get a primary cancer and
they’re treated with aggressive treatment, so lots of chemotherapy or lots of radiation,
to cure the first cancer and then later in life they develop a secondary cancer by, caused
by that radiation treatment. So we’re looking at this to look kind of hopefully further
down the line be able to say this particular patient is more at risk of developing these
secondary cancers, so maybe we’ll use lower doses of radiation on the first cancer to
hopefully stop that from happening. I’m from the UK originally, I’m from Liverpool a town
in the north. I went to Cambridge University, which was a huge deal. I’m actually the first
in my family to go to University. I’ve always been very scientific, I guess my dad would
have been the one who kind of pushed me into science. Our next door neighbors back home,
always said they knew that I would go into science or kind of had an inquisitive mind
cause if I asked my dad why the grass was green he wouldn’t just say, oh because it
is, he would say, well there’s chlorophyll in the grass, and it’s taking the energy from
the sun and that’s how it makes it’s own food and so, yeah. I think he brought me up to
have an inquisitive mind and, yeah, that meant I was always naturally attracted to science.
I just love having kind of a problem solving job, so I’m very lucky that part of my day
to day is, is finding a problem and just thinking ways around it, and, and trying to think what
do we need to test to, to prove this point, or yeah, it’s, it’s very interesting and I’m,
it’s also the fact that we’re doing something that’s hopefully gonna benefit people, so.
The field of genetics has changed dramatically in the past 10, 20 years, and the, the first
sequencing of the human genome took 20 years and millions and millions of dollars. But
now we can send off our samples and get the string of ACGT’s which is the genetic code,
back in a couple of weeks and it costs $1,000. So my work has changed from being at the bench
all of the time, to know being behind a computer for 50% of the time, so I’m, I’m analyzing
these, this genetic code, learning to manipulate big data, so learning to actual do some coding
which is totally new to me. But we still do something at the bench, so if we have a gene
that we’re interested in we will validate that so we will take lots of different samples
and amplify up that gene and then sequence that ourselves. And no day is the same as
well, so it’s very interesting. I’m pretty active, and that was motivation for moving
to California. Though I do triathlons, I also do yoga, I read a lot, yeah, normal things.
We’re a really small lab, so, we kinda just have two main projects and my project. We’re
on my colleague’s project. We work quite closely together, so we discuss each others projects
so, although we’re not working on the same thing, we do share ideas and, and communicate
all of the time. So you’re starting from- Speaker 2: The very beginning. Speaker 1: The end of the paper, love. Speaker 2: Actually I’m starting kind of doing
the whole background thing. Speaker 1: I think it’s a definitely rewarding
field and it’s one that is expanding so much at the moment that there’s, I feel the fields
gonna change in the next 10 to 20 years and personalized medicines, so kind of sequencing
the patient and their disease is gonna revolutionize the field. So I think if someone’s interested
getting into biomedical research they should definitely push for it, yeah, if you’ve got
an analytical mind, it’s very rewarding to, a field to go into. I think I’m sticking down
the researcher track, cause I just love being at the forefront of knowledge, so I know more
about my little bit of science than anybody else in the world and that’s a fantastic place
to be. A really rewarding job to do.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *