20 October 2012
It’s been a busy month for me (do I sound like a broken record yet?). Alas, I have some good news: I will soon have a new academic publication. And even better news: the publication will be open access, so anyone with an internet connection can check it out.
My research lab investigates mechanisms of tumor metastasis, or HOW cancer is able to spread through the body of a cancer patient. Our primary cancers of expertise are breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma affects about 650 new children in the U.S. every year, and is a particularly precarious cancer to treat. Neuroblastoma does not get not as much attention as other cancers, but there are many physician scientists that are very dedicated to improving clinical outcomes of these extremely brave kids.
When the opportunity arose to contribute a chapter to a textbook on neuroblastoma, our laboratory jumped on it. Together with my professor Dr. Dwayne Stupack and Shanique Young, another graduate student in our lab, we authored a chapter on neuroblastoma and integrins: how neuroblastoma (and by extension, their metastases) interact with their environment. It is our hope that our expertise will be put to good use by the courageous physician-scientists out there that are applying our theories and experimental laboratory insights in the clinic.
Often overlooked is the importance of communication in science. A remarkable scientific discovery is completely irrelevant to society if it is not communicated, and communicated properly. The nature of scientific understanding is very nuanced, and the more nuanced the understanding, the more critical the communication. As such, I take this opportunity to communicate science with great pride.
The science communication skills I’ve practiced here (as per my science communication blog) the last two years have helped me tremendously in my efforts to communicate the most clear and accurate version of the research to those that will put it to use. It would be impossible without my readers, so I would like to thank you as well.
peace and clarity, Ryon