Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC): Cancer is in the organization’s name. I have never worked at an academic center with a specific focus on one discipline of biology before, and this has led to the most surprising and rewarding part of my internship: becoming exposed to the vast, seemingly endless field of cancer research.
There are many types of research at MSKCC looking into cancer prevention, immunotherapy, clinical trials for new cancer drugs, and health outcomes. Today, I had the opportunity to hear from the President of MSK, Dr. Craig Thompson as part of the organization’s Summer Student Seminar Series. Dr. Thompson shared with us his unique, holistic perspective on what cancer is, who can get cancer, and whether cancer is avoidable and treatable. His insight as well as my experience so far as an intern have enriched my understanding of cancer as well as broadened my career interests. Like most diseases, scientists still don’t have a full understanding of cancers and its underlying mechanisms. Now more than ever, epidemics such as obesity can be linked to increased cancer risk in addition to tobacco use and exposure to carcinogens. Thus, as the modern world continues to evolve, so does our cancer risk in relation to environmental changes. There are many types of cancer in the world, many organisms that can get cancer, and many more researchers working to understand cancer in all its forms.
Nevertheless, in this modern era with the aid of other scientific disciplines and new technology, we have the ability to deepen our understanding of cancer. Cancer research is a growing field and I believe that there are many opportunities to continue to explore it for my future career. I see major potential in this field and it would be incredible to work at an institution like MSKCC and contribute to cancer research in this manner.