Keith Amos, M.D. Transcript

 

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

Dr. Amos answers:
One of the major reasons I selected this institution from other cancer centers was that M. D. Anderson had a lot to offer as far as, facilities and opportunities, and laboratory and clinical research. And, that was very appealing to me as a trainee. The Department of Surgery here has an excellent reputation and certainly this was a great opportunity for me to come here, and to learn from the faculty here, about the -- and add to my own knowledge and expertise about oncology.

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

Dr. Amos answers:
Iíve been studying for the last year. Iíve been in the laboratory base, primarily, and Iíve been doing research in pancreatic cancer. And, the project that Iím working on is studying the stroma around pancreatic cancer. Most pancreatic cancers have a large amount of fibrosis, or stroma, surrounding the actual cancer cells. And our belief is that this stroma interacts with the actual tumor cells and can offer the tumor cells some increased Ö or malignancy potential. And, we are also studying whether that stroma has an effect on producing some resistance to chemotherapy and other treatments of pancreatic cancer.

Interview question for Dr. Amos:
Tell us about your experience here.

Dr. Amos answers:
The Pancreatic Cancer Research Group has been a very good experience for me as a trainee. Thereís a tremendous database of patient information as far as pathology, as far as outcomes with those patients, whereby we can use that database to find information about what treatments patients respond well to. And, thatíll add to the knowledge base and help us to conceive new treatments for patients in the future. It works well from all angles as a clinical enterprise as well as a research enterprise, and I think that those two things have to work very well together in order for us to be successful at creating new treatments for patients, and to help lower the mortality from some of these very deadly diseases.

Interview question for Dr. Amos:
Tell us about your mentor.

Dr. Amos answers:
The faculty has been very generous with using their time to teach us, provide us with opportunities to do clinical research and to do laboratory research with them. They are excellent teachers, and I think that is an essential role to become successful in academics is to have a good mentor...and that was one of the main reasons that I selected this institution. I was very impressed with the faculty when I interviewed.

Interview question for Dr. Amos:
What about Houston?

Dr. Amos answers:
Houston is a great place to live. I think itís a very diverse city. Itís nice living in the fourth largest city in the country. I think that the cost of living is great here. I have a family with two children and compared to living in other portions of the country, my kids have a lot of friends. The cost of living for a home is reasonably priced and my family finds living here quite great -- and we feel very comfortable here.

Interview question for Dr. Amos:
Any advice?

Dr. Amos answers:
I think that one of the key things when one looks at a site for training, whether it be a postdoc or a fellowship, is to look closely at the institution, to make sure itís a stable, strong institution and whether it provides the goals that you have set forth as a trainee, that you want to achieve. And those not only may not be related to an academic standpoint, but also it could be related to just relationships. How you want to interact with the faculty as well. Another important point would be to look at where the past trainees who have come through that institution have gone. What are they doing now? And to track that -- look and see whether theyíve come through the program and achieved the goals that they set out to achieve. And, one I think, is just to be honest with yourself. We all have our own interests, we all have our own goals, and we should look to find a good match. And I think that M. D. Anderson certainly has been a good match for me and I think that any trainee or interviewee should certainly look for those essential things when they interview for a spot.