Working to Understand Breast Cancer
Jamaica Cass is a PhD Candidate in Microbiology and Immunology and is making cancer research her specialty. Her focus is on breast cancer and involves both lab-based and clinical research, looking at the genetic manipulation of cancer cells in a bid to develop ‘target therapies.’
Miss Cass originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but after enrolling in a biology degree she took an introductory course in pathology - the study of disease, part of which was a cancer component. She was so intrigued by cancer research that she changed her education path and arrived at Queen’s in 2008 to begin a Master’s degree.
She now works in the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute, part of the Collaborative Cancer Program – a unique program that unites six different departments across the University with the collective goal of advancing cancer research. Scientists from anatomy, biochemistry, epidemiology, microbiology and immunology, who may otherwise never come into contact, all work together under one umbrella.
1 in 9 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and she wants to help reduce this statistic. Her work is making a difference and is helping to change the outcome for women with breast cancer across the world.
Miss Cass has twice been the recipient of the Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Awards (2010 and 2011), presented by the American Association of Cancer Research.