Why aren't cancer treatments "one-size fits all"?
Catch Melissa on her soapbox at the Harbourfront at 2:00 pm
Describe your field of study/work.
You may have heard that DNA is the “blueprint” of life—it contains the code for all of your genetic information. This means that your DNA is very precious—your body has trillions of copies of it (2 copies in every cell!) and it’s very important that no changes are made to it. Changes in DNA are called “mutations” and mutations can be caused by things like UV light from the sun or smoking—but they can also occur randomly throughout your lifetime even if you’re very healthy. Lucky for us, our body has many tools to fix DNA mutations—DNA repair machinery! My current work as a PhD student at SickKids is to study DNA repair machinery and what happens when people are born with faulty or completely defective DNA repair—namely cancer.
Why are you excited about soapbox science?
I love talking about my research to my friends and family. It’s amazing to see someone start to understand something they may not have before. I think with today’s pseudo-science, fake news, and lack of evidence-based policy decisions, it’s more important than ever that scientists engage with the public about their work, what the findings really mean, and why it’s important for everyone. PLUS, women in science are doing absolutely amazing work, and I’m excited be part of an initiative that showcases just that.