Genetics Then & Now

The matriarch of modern cancer genetics doubts her career would be possible today: "I was doing observationally driven research. That’s a kiss of death if you’re looking for funding today."

The matriarch of modern cancer genetics on whether the type of career she had would be possible today: "No. I was doing observationally driven research. That’s the kiss of death if you’re looking for funding today. We’re so fixated now on hypothesis-driven research that if you do what I did, it would be called a "fishing expedition," a bad thing. ...I keep saying that fishing is good. You’re fishing because you want to know what’s there." Without her 1970s finding that broken and translocated chromosomes were a factor in blood cancers, we might not have the treatments for leukemia that are commonplace today.

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