Frontier Breast Cancer Research from a Unique Perspective
What obstacles have you had to overcome in your career/college journey?
I had to find the confidence that what makes you different should not intimidate you or allow others to prevent you from following your dreams. What makes you unlike everyone else will one day be your strength; don't hide it, let it shine.
What is your chosen STEM Field?
My STEM field is Translational Breast Cancer Research. The Matthew Ellis laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine focuses on generating new and optimizing current treatment strategies for patients across the breast cancer spectrum by delineating mechanisms of resistance to standard-of-care therapeutics and metastasis for each breast tumor subtype. Our lab engages in frontier-level approaches that integrate big data science (“omics”) to gain a better overall understanding of how genetic aberrations in breast cancer cells influence disease characteristics and therapeutic response.
Why did you choose your field?
Simple curiosity is what caused me to choose my career field. During my childhood, my father went back to school to complete his college coursework while working full-time. During that time, he would allow me to look through his textbooks. I was so intrigued by his Anatomy and Physiology courses that it ultimately lit an intellectual fuse.
While in high school, I participated in University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Upward Bound Math and Science Program. The program gave me my first opportunity to express a natural zeal for changing the world with science. By the time I entered college, I knew my path would be coated in biomedical gold. Working with my predoctoral mentor, Dr. Kevin Pruitt, helped me narrow my research focus to oncology.