What’s the link between dinosaur evolution and cancer? It’s an odd question, but one we were faced with when Cancer Research UK scientist Professor Gerard Evan gave a fascinating talk at our head office recently.
If you want to be simultaneously intrigued, entertained and uplifted, we recommend that you take 15 minutes out of your day to watch what he had to say:
Gerard recently moved his family back to the UK from San Francisco to work as a Cancer Research UK scientist. Now based at the University of Cambridge, Gerard has dedicated the last couple decades of his life to understanding a solitary molecule called MYC.
While much of the scientific community is trying to understand the differences between each person’s cancer so that treatment can be ‘personalised’, Gerard is taking a different approach. He thinks the MYC molecule is one of a few universal master switches in cells that can be manipulated to stop or treat cancer.
During his fascinating talk, he challenged some of the common language we use when we talk about cancer, which he thinks imbues the disease with an undeserved mystery. Cancer doesn’t “thwart” or “resist” our attempts at treatment, he says, it simply blindly evolves.
We have invited several other researchers to talk about their research over the coming months. Please do let us know in the comments section below if you would like to see more of them.