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St. Jude Children’s Hospital

What’s something that people may not know about you?

I was an All-Star baseball player in high school and played college ball on scholarship at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL.


Why did you pursue brain cancer research?

After completing an MSc in Medical Science at McMaster University, I was undecided what to do next in terms of potential career direction. Serendipitously, I came across a job posting for a research technologist position in a new research lab within the Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. A few days later I interviewed with Dr.’s Michael Taylor (former DSA recipient) and Jim Rutka, both world renowned pediatric neurosurgeons, and within a few weeks I was working under their supervision. That was January 2005 and was the turning point in my career in childhood brain cancer research.


What does it mean to you to be a Sontag Distinguished Scientist or What has the Sontag Foundation afforded you as a Distinguished Scientist?

I was incredibly honored to have been selected as a Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist shortly after launching my independent research program at St. Jude. Being part of the Sontag ‘family’ has been academically enriching, enabled new friendships and collaborations, and gives me the sense of being a lifetime member of a unique group of outstanding scientists and clinicians focused on the common goal of improving treatments and outcomes for those affected by brain cancer.