Joya Chandra , Ph.D. Transcript

 

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Interview question for Dr. Chandra:
Why M. D. Anderson?

Dr. Chandra answers:
Well, I came back to M. D. Anderson because I really wanted to do translational research. And when I was a graduate student here, my thesis project used cells from patients that had chronic … leukemia and that was a really unique opportunity that I think would not have been afforded to me at -- really -- any other institution in the world. And I can say that having been outside of the country to do my first postdoc. I was in a very unique situation where we were collaborating with giants in human research -- like Dr Frierich, Dr. Michael Keating, Dr. Michael Andreas, and we were able to collaborate with them -- they were research (inaudible) take advantage of all the clinical benefits that are available at M. D. Anderson and look at the biology of how these cells behave in terms of how they undergo cell death. And, you simply don’t have the sort of access to numbers of clinical specimens at -- I think -- any other institution in the world.

Interview question for Dr. Chandra:
Tell us about your work.

Dr. Chandra answers:
So, I’m a member of the Children’s Cancer Hospital, which is the new designation for the Division of Pediatrics within M. D. Anderson and I’m one of the basic scientists in that department, so my lab studies how leukemia cells might be killed more effectively by causing an imbalance in the ratio of pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants. So we are interested in this from both the standpoint of experimental therapeutics, so we are studying new compounds that have the potential to enter clinical trials -- one of them has actually just entered a clinical trial, last month. And then the other aspect of our research is through understanding how cells process oxidants and how they have defenses against oxidants (inaudible) in kind of equipping them to combat various cancer therapeutics.

Interview question for Dr. Chandra:
What can M. D. Anderson offer?

Dr. Chandra answers:
Well I focused a lot about on how M. D. Anderson is a great place to do translational research, but the basic science here is outstanding as well. So I think we have a lot to offer postdocs who are interested in general cell biomechanisms, the Biochemistry Department here as well as the Cancer Genetics Department and Molecular Genetics Department are outstanding. They publish in excellent journals. Our faculty is very diverse. We have, I think, over 1,000 faculty now, and -- I think you can find your niche as a postdoc. You don’t have to be somebody who’s interested in doing translational research. You can gain an excellent basic science experience at this institution and if you are so inclined, you can also tie it in to a very clinical topic as well. So I think the ability to access the clinical impact is a huge strength at M. D. Anderson, but we are not limited in that. We also have excellent basic science that’s ongoing.