How Can We Win the War on Cancer?

Biomedical Sciences

By: Ross Keller, 2nd year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

Lung cancer cell division, SEMIn 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, which later became known as the beginning of the “War on Cancer.” Now, 42 years later, are we any closer to winning the war?

To answer this question, we need to explore what cancer is.

Cancer is described as the uncontrolled growth of our own cells. Normally, cells have a designated number of times then can divide and are genetically programmed when to do so. But when certain genes become “broken” via a mutation, which is a change in the DNA blueprints, the cell is free to divide unchecked.

Interestingly, mutations happen all the time in our cells. There are billions of possible mutations in our genome—but there are also billions and billions of cells. So, why is cancer, overall, rare?

Serendipity in Science: Understanding How Accidents Can Lead to Scientific Discoveries

Biomedical Sciences

By: Sadie Steffens, 3rd year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

science_labWhen the word “science” comes to mind, I think about carefully planned experiments designed to test a hypothesis.  These experiments are expected to produce a certain result to verify a scientific claim—but often, these carefully planned experiments yield unexpected, or even unwanted, results.

Indeed, history reminds us that many of the most innovative and monumental discoveries have been made by accident.

Preparing Science Grad Students for a Career Away from the Bench

Office of Technology Development

By: Sara Love, associate director for business development in the Office of Technology Development

What happens when you receive the degree you’ve worked so hard to achieve but realize you do not want to spend your career teaching or working in a lab?  There are a lot of great career options for individuals with post-graduate degrees in the sciences working with industry.

As a student, you are in a great position to explore various career paths. You have flexibility, access to a wide variety of resources, and you are surrounded by extremely talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The best way to understand what you like and what you don’t is to experience it! Get out there and expose yourself to a variety of career paths.