Gayle Slaughter - Advances in Science

Uploaded by ScienceCareerPath on 27.07.2012

My undergraduate degree is in chemistry, my PhD is in biochemistry and biophysics. When I came to a postdoc at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas,
I entered the world of molecular and cellular biology and reproductive biology and moved into whole new fields. The molecular cell biology area
attracted me because it was the foundation for so many types of science. There's so many things that we work on and the tools we have today were unimaginable
when I had a research lab. We are now doing live imaging of cells and even developing embryos. We can create animals where we have inserted a gene,
we've knocked out a gene, we can look at molecular pathways. We have all of these different florescent tags now that we can follow molecules in time
as they activate and move around. When I had a lab, there were two colors of tags, red and green, and then you could image calcium with yellow.
Now there are more than 20 different ones so you can follow complex pathways. When I had a research lab we would run northern blots
where you would look at one RNA species every two weeks and we thought we were just advancing science so much to do that and we were. Now we look at 100,000 RNAs
being expressed in something like a tumor versus a normal cell, and we can identify the genes that are actually responsible for that tumor.
One of the students who did my summer undergraduate research program used techniques to actually develop the first drug that looks like it may be very effective
against triple negative breast tumors, the most aggressive breast tumors. He worked with a wonderful biostatistician and together they looked at all of this data
and identified an inhibitor of a particular protein kind that started to go into testing at MD Anderson by the time Corey was writing his dissertation.