During my PhD, I have studied an oncolytic virus (that is a virus that can kill only cancer cells) called ONYX-015 and that is now considered a bit old-fashioned because not very efficient. From there I have realised that we needed to improve the effiiciency of oncolyitc viruses and to know more about how a cancer develop, before we will be able to give it to a patient to eradicate cancer. That’s why I really enjoy my project here, because it allows me to develop both aspects of the problem.
I decided to go into cancer research, rather than any other area of research because:
– cancer is a very common disease that affects an awful lot of people, so it would be great to help beat it.
– cancer is a very interesting disease: understanding how the cells in your body turn into cancer cells fascinates me.
– this one’s not a very noble reason, but I should be honest with you: compared with many other areas of research, cancer is pretty well funded, so it’s easier to find the money to do your research.
I have always been interested in science, and when I found out that you could use physics for helping sick people get better (in ‘medical physics’) I realised that that was what I wanted to do with my physics degree. I then found a poster advertising a PhD position at the Institute of Cancer Researcher on the wall of my common room – and I phoned my future supervisor up, and he gave me a job!
It’s a very satisfying and worthwhile job, and I am always proud to tell people that I am a scientist working in cancer research.