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On Cancer's Case

Harvard Medical Labcast

Science & Medicine

As a teenager, Joan Brugge expected to become a math teacher. Then her sister developed a fatal brain tumor, and Brugge shifted to devote her career to uncovering the fundamental workings of cancer.Now a world-renowned cell biologist, Brugge investigates how cancers form, spread and become resistant to therapy. Whether she's probing the startling variety of cells within tumors or building 3D models to study cancer development in structures that more closely resemble the human body, Brugge continues to illuminate cancers of the breast, ovaries, lungs and more.In this episode, Brugge tells the story of her path into cancer biology and discusses her latest endeavors. She also shares her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing the field today and the skills she believes will best serve the next generation of cancer researchers.Brugge is the Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Cell Biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and co-director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School, which brings together researchers across disciplines to overcome barriers that prevent the development effective cancer therapies.Note: This interview was recorded before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.Download the full transcript [PDF].Episode guide:0:03 Introduction1:20 Diverted from math by sister's illness3:55 Major discovery as a postdoctoral researcher6:05 Finding a balance between work and family7:25 Sojourn into biotechnology and back to the lab10:35 Building 3D models to study tumors13:10 Current investigations in ovarian and breast cancers18:40 Lung cancer research and the paradox of antioxidants21:35 Interdisciplinary collaboration and skills for future researchers25:50 Hopes for new discovery28:35 ConclusionProducer: Rick GroleauMusic: "Fairy Dust" by Velvet Ears 3 via Extreme MusicSubscribe to the Harvard Medical Labcast on SimpleCast or iTunes.


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