As the CRI-Carson Family Fellow, I became involved in efforts for fundraising and promoting cancer immunotherapy research.
The CRI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program funded my research for the third to fifth years of my postdoctoral training—a crucial time that prepared me for the transition to become an independent scientist. The full financial support that the fellowship provided allowed me to focus on developing my scientific ideas and executing the crucial experiments to complete my postdoctoral research, especially during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CRI, with their many initiatives, had also given me many outreach opportunities to be involved in. For their annual awareness day, CRI uses the hashtag #Immune2Cancer to campaign for the lifesaving potential of immunotherapy, where we wear white in honor of cancer-fighting white blood cells.
As a CRI-funded scientist, I also had the unique opportunity to share a day in my life as a scientist via Instagram Takeover. This included sharing stories of my daily activities, explaining my research on how chronic wounds predispose tissues to cancer and most importantly, showcasing the models we use in the laboratory that make our studies possible.
For Through the Kitchen, CRI’s most significant annual fundraising event where all contributions are earmarked for the CRI Irvington Fellowship Program, I recorded a short promotional clip about my research and its parallels with cooking to match the kitchen-themed event.
Delicious meals, like healthy bodies, depend on a variety of elements working together. In food, sweet, salty, sour, and savory ingredients are balanced to tickle our taste buds. In the same way, our bodies also rely on a balanced interplay to protect us, most notably between the immune system’s power to eliminate and stem cells’ potential to regenerate. And just as a bad recipe can ruin a meal, certain stresses can disrupt the dynamic between stem cells and immune cells, allowing for cancer to thrive. With funding from CRI, I’m investigating how this happens, so we might discover ways to prevent it.
All in all, I am very grateful to have been a CRI fellow. Their generous support for the past three years has made me confident to proceed and contribute further in the advancement of science against cancer.
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