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What EPI Means for Advanced Prostate Cancer

At the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, my team and I are researching a new drug compound that we developed called EPI. Currently, we are trying to get the legal authorization to use the drug with patients, and to do this we have to show toxicity levels and other requirements to ensure it is safe. We anticipate starting clinical trials with the drug by the end of this year. Patients do ask where we are at, and we are going to be there in less than twelve months – we really are getting close. It’s quite an amazing feeling as a scientist to develop a novel drug, it’s a dream actually. Prostate...

A Eureka Moment of Discovery

The moment of discovery for a scientist is when you know something that no one else in the world knows. These are the moments that carry us, as scientists. Yet there are different degrees of excitement about discoveries. Most are small and incremental, building a bigger picture of how something works. There is one moment in my career that will be etched in my mind forever. This was the moment my technician, Jean, showed me the data of a new drug we were testing in a lab model of advanced prostate cancer. First I looked at the tumour growth rates. Jean was excited and told me that the tumours...

Thinking “Outside of The Box”

I feel very fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career to date, because they have helped me get to where I am. In the field of Urology, which includes studying prostate cancer research, approximately 13 per cent of all urologists are female, and even fewer are in leadership roles within the field. We really are a minority in this area. I am passionate about female mentorship in research in general. It’s a demanding occupation, and balance of family-work life can be difficult. Cancer research is an enormous field, and to continue discovering cures we need to have as many...

Inspiration & the BC Cancer Agency

I had just returned from Sweden and was offered a postdoctoral position with Dr. Nicholas Bruchovsky. I had returned from overseas after finishing my PhD, and job opportunities in the United States were beckoning me. The BC Cancer Agency has such a great research reputation around the world and so it was so exciting to be offered a chance to do leading work at this high level in my home province, so I accepted the job. And I accepted the job because I felt I could now do work in a field of cancer research that really matters for patients. By having resources and the expertise all in one area...

Home Grown in B.C.

As Doug mentioned, I am the Provincial Program Leader for Prostate Cancer Research at the BC Cancer Agency, in Vancouver. Before I dive into talking prostate cancer research, I’d like to share a bit about me. I’m from B.C., and I grew up in Kamloops but also lived in Kimberley for a while. So you could say that I’m “home-grown,” and I love British Columbia. It’s a beautiful place to live. From the time I was little, I have been interested in discovery and in creative things. In university, I didn’t really know where to start , so my career goals weren’t exactly a straight line. It wasn’t...

Introducing Dr. Marianne Sadar

Thank you Courteney Lai, Graduate Student (PhD), for sharing your behind the scenes experience at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, in the Terry Fox Laboratory. Your post explaining blood cancers and leukemia was interesting, and I wish you good luck in the next steps of your career. Now, here we are in March, and I’m excited to introduce our next guest blogger, Dr. Marianne Sadar. She is the Provincial Program Leader for Prostate Cancer Research at the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Sadar is a leading researcher in B.C. --her work has attracted international attention from the research and...

Decisions and the Future

Being a graduate student at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre (CRC) in Vancouver, I am fortunate to be exposed to many great opportunities in research and ideas for how and where to go from here in my career. Having had the opportunity to be exposed to and involved in research on a national and international scale, I can confidently say that I enjoy research. I love the challenge of unraveling puzzles and being part of leading-edge research discoveries. In addition, I am passionate about creating and supporting the community of research at the Agency. This is one of the reasons I chose to...

Mentorship

The process of becoming a scientist is certainly a complicated one, maybe lifelong. A key part of this process I’ve experienced, that is just as important as learning the science and research methods, is mentorship. Mentorship has helped me transition from being a new, ‘green’ student to feeling confident in my research and contributing to the team here at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre (CRC). Naturally, the supervisor-student relationship is one of the most important relationships in a researcher’s academic career. It is the supervising scientist’s responsibility to take the raw...

Blood Cancers and my Hopes for Scientific Research

As my close family has, unfortunately, been affected by cancer, I can relate to that feeling of urgency and desire to accelerate research and better understand cancer. As a family member, I want to know that more effective and less toxic treatments are on the horizon. As a researcher, I want to discover the same thing. This means learning how cancers exert their effect and finding the changes that occur on the cellular level, so that potential drug targets can be identified. Leukemia is cancer of the blood, the name is derived from the Greek language: leuko meaning white and emia meaning...

Inspired by the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre

My search for a research laboratory focused on studying diseases immediately led me to the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre (BCCRC) and its Terry Fox Laboratory. I soon learned that the latter was a multidisciplinary group primarily focused on understanding leukemia and advancing treatments. When I was offered a co-op work placement in this lab, I accepted without hesitation. More specifically, I saw this as a great opportunity to learn more about stem cell biology and study cancer and leukemia. I first worked under the supervision of senior members of Dr. Keith Humphries’s lab, an...

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