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A Moment in Time: How a Background in Biology Led Me to the BC Cancer Agency

June 5, 2015

So, how did I end up with a career in cancer research? I wonder myself at times, but always attribute my career path to a single moment in time. To explain it all I would have to get technical, so I’m going to try to keep it simple:

I was using a dye to study a property of biological membranes and when I presented the work to Dr. Ben de Kruijff (a close collaborator with Dr. Pieter Cullis, my PhD supervisor) he indicated that the dye looked a lot like doxorubicin, a commonly used anticancer drug.

This one comment really changed the direction of Pieter’s lab and my research interests…turned out that my biology training was of use when measuring the effects of cancer drugs like doxorubicin. I’ll expand on this next week, but basically a lasting working relationship with Pieter, the formation of a couple of companies, getting terminated and a common interest in the research led by BC Cancer Agency clinician scientists (Drs. Hulbert Silver and Richard Klasa) helped to establish my research scientist position at the BC Cancer Agency.

Oh, and you may be wondering about my second long-term goal, to never live in a big city: I live on Bowen Island on almost five acres of land…as close to the country as I can get and still be less than one hour from work. On Bowen, we raised two children (Christina and Jeremy), multiple dogs, many chickens, one horse and one cat….I’m sure I’m missing a few critters as well.