Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Pitteri’

Early Detection for Breast Cancer Research Underway

October 24, 2012

Currently, a woman living in the U.S. has a 12.1% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer — that’s 1 out of 8 women. Think about 8 women you know; mothers, sisters, friends, coworkers – that’s how close this disease is to each of us. It’s a disease that requires our attention, resources, and brightest minds to work collaboratively to beat it. Earlier this year, we announced another bold step in our mission: the launch of the Canary Breast Cancer Program.

Currently, Canary funds two forward-thinking research projects that will lay the foundation for a new Breast Cancer Early Detection Initiative. One study will focus on finding biomarkers in the blood of women diagnosed with breast cancer that may indicate the presence of tumor growth. The second study will develop an imaging modality to detect breast cancer at the earliest stages. As such, it offers great potential in detecting very small tumors– pinpointing the location for surgery or target therapies before the cancer has the chance to spread. More »

The Role of a Postdoc Researcher in the Lab

March 5, 2012

Majlinda Kullolli is a Postdoc research fellow in Dr. Sharon Pitteri’s lab at the Canary Center at Stanford University. In this interview, Majlinda shares what the role of a Postdoc is in a lab, as well as her experience working at the Canary Center.

What is a postdoc’s role in the lab?
My role in the lab is to conduct research projects, to think independently, be highly motivated, design and carryout experiments, analyze data, and interpret results. It’s my responsibility to fully understand the technical details of projects as well as to understand each project in the larger context of cancer early detection. In short, it is my job to make sure that the project is getting done successfully.

What is the mission of Dr. Pitteri’s lab?
The mission of the lab is to discover proteins that can be used for diagnostics, progression, and the recurrence of cancer. The lab is mostly concentrated on breast cancer and ovarian cancer research. Most of the work is done with human plasma samples but we also work with cancer cell lines.

Why did you choose this position?
I received my Ph.D. working in Bill Hancock’s lab at Northeastern University. I was working in biomarker discovery for autoimmune disease, but I always wanted to study cancer biology. When I saw this position at the Canary Center for Early Detection, I was interested because I’ve always been fascinated in the study of early detection for cancer. It’s important to know about a disease at the beginning, during the early stages of tumor initiation. Catching cancer early provides a better opportunity to cure and treat the patient.

What are your personal goals in this trajectory?
My personal goal is to be able to learn more about early detection and cancer and help discover biomarkers that can be used for early cancer diagnostics. I am excited to work in a highly collaborative environment which allows me to grow and learn as a scientist.