I felt like I had been put in the position of Schrodinger’s cat: I was either in perfect health and had nothing to worry about, or I was about to undergo a series of treatments and face an uncertain future. I had never felt like I had less control in my adult life than I did during the time waiting for an answer.

Thankfully, after a minor (albeit painful) surgery, it turned out to be a benign mass and after several months of uncertainty and undue stress, I was cleared. This first-hand experience left me even more driven than before to pursue my research goals - namely, finding better, faster, non-invasive ways to search for signatures of cancer cells in the body.

I was supposed to tell you how I ended up running a research lab at Simon Fraser University. To make an already long story short, I outlined my research goals for the coming years and submitted to several universities across Canada. With roots firmly placed in the region and generous support being offered from BC Cancer Foundation donors to fund initial research endeavours, the decision to come to SFU was an easy one. I began setting up lab space at the Burnaby campus in 2012 and many of my former professors became my colleagues.

In my final post, I’ll share with you the progress we’re currently making to develop less invasive strategies to aid in diagnosing and monitoring lymphoid and other types of cancer.

Ryan