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Luiza Steffens Reinhardt 

What is your study background and when did you decide you wanted to be a research scientist?


I hold an undergraduate degree in Analytical Toxicology from the Federal University of Health and Science of Porto Alegre – UFCSPA (Brazil), and an MSc (Biosciences) degree from UFCSPA and the Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland). Currently, I’m a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medicine in the University of Newcastle. I have experience in the fields of DNA damage response and repair, genotoxicity, mutagenicity, cancer, biomedical polymers and nanotechnology.


During my undergraduate course, I’ve performed a Scientific Initiation for 3 years in the Genetic Toxicological Research Laboratory in UFCSPA, and since I started my research training, I was enchanted by the transmission of knowledge that science allows us contributing to the development of novel strategies to many health challenges, thus, since then I wanted to be a scientist.


What attracted you to cancer research?


Currently, people have come to know a certain level of security in their own health, given that there are few illnesses we can’t treat or cure. However, cancers have no cure, no easy management, and they spare nobody. Therefore, it would seem logical that huge efforts are been made to find reliable treatments for the patients, including efforts to identify new therapeutic approaches. Nevertheless, cancer research is challenging and with slow meaningful progress. Thus, I’m very interested to study how we can help to improve the outcome of cancer patients and their quality of life.


Why do you think research on metastases is important?


It is a challenging research field since nearly all deaths from cancer are a result of acquired resistance to treatment and the development of metastases. Thus, once the metastases are established the treatment efficiency decreases drastically.


What do you find exciting about your research work?


Every day is different. Not every day is “Eureka!”, but the days that are great make up to days of bad experiments and bad results. It is also extremely exciting to study topics that can actually help improve people’s health.


What do you hope to achieve in your research career?


Isaac Newton said: “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me”; I wish to achieve significant discoveries together with brilliant researchers that can truly make a difference in people’s health contributing to improving the cancer outcome.

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