Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Medical Science–Career Choice for the 21st Century


“I’m Chad Glen. We’re at Georgia Tech and
I work with gap junctions so it has a relation to a lot of diseases actually. So cancer has
some relation. There’s also some association with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. I’m actually
from Canada. Hamilton, Ontario. So I’m far away from home. When I was younger I actually,
I played or did karate for awhile and I really enjoyed reading. When I got into it I really
went into it. I was way too curious when I was younger and when I started drinking coffee,
I looked up the effects of caffeine and then it’s like okay, caffeine is a phosphodiesterase
inhibitor and I was like oh, what does that mean and so I looked that up and it just ended
up with me reading a whole bunch of research articles out a great age of like 13. When
I was younger we had a class and a guy came in to give a presentation on like career day
and he’s like I’m a scientist and I get to pick my own hours. And my first response was
that’s what I want. I actually was a weird child in that before the boogie man I was
actually scared of cancer. My parents used to scare me to eat my vegetables by saying
you’ll get cancer and so obviously I ate my broccoli and then I was like you know, maybe
I should actually work something that could prevent this or at least help this and so
it was really a fear of cancer that drove me here. My overall goal is actually trying to figure
out how cells in like populations or aggregates are actually communicating so there’s like
proteins called connexons that form like gap junctions so basically channels between cells
so they can allow things to pass directly through and I’m trying to figure out how in
a large population this communication network is actually arranged and how spacial patterns
could form from that and really just trying to find out how if there’s rules that govern
this intercellular communication in multiple different cell types. You pretty much have
regular stuff in the lab. Pipettes, flow cytometry which allows you to separate different cells
based on like fluorescent tags and get a size distribution. My dreams for where this can go is really
by creating this model of intercellular communication. I hope that I can actually determine what
is going wrong, especially in diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s and also epilepsy.
There’s like some disruption in gap junction function that I think my research could help
to develop some connection between what is going wrong to cause the symptoms and how
you can potentially correct it. speaker 2: Chad, you’re still doing the [??] speaker 1: I am, yes. speaker 2: Oh, wow. speaker 1: The most special thing about the
lab is definitely the ability to actually come in, talk to people and then go do research,
come back, still have a conversation. Where’s your protective gear? speaker 2: Where’s my protective gear? It’s
okay. Its just cancer cells so it’s not going to hurt, what hurts you makes you stronger
right? speaker 1: I don’t know if that quite works
in science but… speaker 2: Very interesting work. speaker 1: And everyone sort of understands
exactly like they don’t think oh, he’s sitting at his computer. He’s not doing any work.
It’s oh, he’s in between experiments because there’s always these long like breaks in between
and it’s a great place to be. The fact that you can actually understand exactly what’s
going on in your life for the most part, just everything you could possibly want to know
is collected together and you slowly cascade between different points and it’s a great
experience.”

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