Dr Raymond Yip
What is your study background and when did you decide you wanted to be a research scientist?
I obtained my undergraduate degree in biochemistry and a PhD degree in developmental biology from the University of Hong Kong. I am now a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Jane Visvader and Prof. Geoff Lindeman Group at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
I have always enjoyed doing experiments in the laboratory since my undergraduate years. The thrill of making discoveries and learning new knowledge and technologies daily is very exciting and what keep me energised every day
What attracted you to cancer research?
I was initially trained as a developmental biologist. Over the years, it becomes clear that cancer cells often reactivate developmental pathways during oncogenic transformation. I am therefore particularly keen to translate my knowledge in embryogenesis to the cancer research field.
Afterall, cancer is such a common disease – it almost always affects someone that we love. Knowing the work that I do can potentially improve the outcome of cancer patients is truly inspiring.
Why do you think research on metastases is important?
The major cause of death in cancer patients is metastasis, partly due to drugs that stop primary tumorigenesis may become ineffective against metastases. This raises the urgency to fully understand the mechanisms of cancer metastasis.
What do you find exciting about your research work?
As people often quote ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, I have been developing advanced imaging technique to study how cancer cells ‘talk’ to the tissue microenvironment during metastasis. My work shows that disruption of such communications has the potential to halt breast cancer bone metastasis and I am excited to expend this technology to study other types of cancer metastasis.
What do you hope to achieve in your research career?
I hope my work can improve our understanding of tumour-microenvironment interplay and ultimately uncover new ways to treat metastasis by dual targeting of both cancer cells as well as the tissue microenvironment.