Cancer Research in the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

Cancer Research in the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute


Speaker 1: My name’s Meg Goswami and I’m from
Houston, Texas. This is the Myeloid Malignancy Section of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute at the NIH. So I spend half my time doing actual bench work and that involves
a lot of work with human specimens but sometimes with cancer cell lines. I study gene expression
of pee samples in these cell lines to try to find what is unique about cancer. My parents
are not scientists, they are in fact economists and accountants. My grandparents, most of
them are doctors and a lot of my aunts and uncles are doctors, so I’ve always been fascinated
by what they did. When I was a kid I would like having insects and frogs, whatever I
could find as pets. I was interested in just how living creatures existed and how they
worked. I would really like to find a target, something that sets apart cancer from healthy
tissue that you could then direct chemotherapy or other types of treatments against that.
So my goal is the find something that we can then target to kill cancer. I have specific
pipettes I use, I use specific machines that I use for analysis and specific reagents and
all these are tailored to my particular project. I’m allowed to be very independent, which
is what works for me, but at the same time it’s also very collaborative, so I really
love coming in here. I’m in charge of my own projects, I do my own work, I do my own analysis,
and it’s really nice to see my work through from beginning to end. And at the same time
while I can work independently, there’s so many people here with so much knowledge and
there’s so many resources that any time I have a problem, it’s so easy to send a quick
email and find a person that has the answer to my question. It has made me a much better
scientist and you know, I’m able to learn so much about other people’s work and incorporate
some of their techniques and some of their knowledge into what I do and I really love
that here. I personally would like to get more into knowing how to analyze big data
sets to try to mine exactly what you need out of that information. We will never be
done trying to find new targets for treatment and so in 10-15 years I still think we’ll
be doing some of what we’re doing now, still looking for the elusive target that can help
us kill cancer. Even if you think you’re interested in immunology or genetics or something, I
think the first key is just to get in a lab and begin just to make sure that doing bench
work is your thing. It might not be everyone’s thing and that’s completely fine, but it’s
really important to get that experience early to make sure it’s what you want to do.