Experiential Example: Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Annotation

Sean Burns
Steamboat Scholar, Dana Farber Institute

Conducting research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was an absolutely incredible experience. I came into Dr. Bradner’s lab thinking that I understood the biology of cancer, but soon realized I was in way over my head. The internship was challenging every single day, and I made sure to take advantage of every resource available to me, including consulting physicians and scientists all over the country. Shortly into the experience, I helped initiate a brand new project in the lab and soon acted as the main contact person for providing project updates. Realizing that my work was on the fore front of cancer research, I would scour over each month’s new journals in case any new studies surfaced concerning the protein I was studying. Knowing the demand and immediacy of my research helped keep me motivated, and it was always exciting to find myself fully incorporated into the larger community working to develop a cure for cancer. Further, I had several opportunities to meet patients and their families while shadowing clinicians in the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Meeting survivors who were two or more years into remission thanks to recently developed therapies truly put the importance of research into perspective. Significant headway has been made in recent years to develop new therapies for cancer patients, and I could not be more proud to have contributed to this effort.

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