BC Cancer Agency Cancer Research Centre - Graduate student, Interdisciplinary Oncology, University of British Columbia

Being a graduate student at the BC Cancer Agency’s Research Centre is a great experience. Our lab is located on the 9th floor and is an open, spacious work place with large windows (shaped like Petri dishes!) One of the many benefits of working at the Research Centre is having access to the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Family Theatre, where I often go to listen to talks and learn about cutting-edge research happening in the building as well as by internationally-renowned scientists from all over the world. Once a year, I present my own work to my peers and mentors. Despite being a somewhat nerve-wracking experience, this is a great opportunity to interact with other researchers in the building and receive feedback and suggestions to improve my work.

For the past two years, I have helped organize Terry Fox Work Day at the Research Centre which has raised thousands of dollars for the Terry Fox Foundation. Through organizing this event, I have interacted with a number of senior scientists who consistently support student-led events with extraordinary enthusiasm and kindness, and help raise funds for cancer research (even at the expense of their humility!) As up-and-coming scientists, we are lucky to have such exceptional leaders.

Now that I am a senior student in my lab, I help train and mentor younger students just as I was mentored when I began my career in cancer research. Having been a member of several teams throughout my life, I have experienced the benefits of a group of individuals working together towards a common goal and I very much value the team mentality in our lab because it really facilitates our ability to make new discoveries that will help cancer patients. The BC Cancer Research Centre team is a great one to be a part of!

Kelsie