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How Gary Cantor, Durham Doctor, Thinks of Research

February 27, 2017
 

For Gary Cantor, Durham is a great place to conduct research. He is there now, studying for his Ph.D. and focusing on projects that could help humans live a much longer and healthier life. He has seemingly always dreamed of a career in medicine, ever since he saw doctors on TV when he was a young boy and wanted to be one. At first, surgery appealed to him most, but that hanged when he was led to the medical research field by Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist who believes that medical research can create help people live to 1,000.

Gary Cantor started his medical research career at the University of Florida, where worked in his first lab while still in his teens. He also worked as an intern at Genentech in San Francisco, in their Translational Oncology department. There, he worked with a team that was researching a very important treatment for breast cancer. After Florida, Cantor worked and studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is down the road from Gary Cantor’s, Durham home.

The Pursuit of Medical Discovery from Durham’s Gary Cantor

November 15, 2016
 

The pursuit of one’s passion is important in finding enjoyment in a career. At a young age, Durham based Gary Cantor decided he wanted to pursue a career in the medical field and after hearing about the Biomedical Gerontology field from a doctor’s presentation on Youtube, Gary Cantor began his educational pursuits in order to be a part of the field of medical discovery through research and practice. He studied to receive his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida where he studied biology and immediately got involved in the research department. He continues to pursue medical discoveries in Durham, North Carolina.

For Gary Cantor, Durham is Home

August 23, 2016
 
As a young boy in Coral Springs, Florida, Gary Cantor discovered the medical reality show, “Trauma: Life in the ER,” on TV and decided that what he saw was so cool, he wanted a career in medicine. He developed great admiration for the doctors who worked to save people's lives, especially the surgeons, at least for a while.

The dream of becoming a great surgeon took a turn, however, when Gary Cantor was 13 and he saw a YouTube video of Dr. Aubrey de Grey. Dr. de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist who firmly believes that medical research was the most important thing in the world and the key to humans learning how to live 1,000 years. He corresponded with Dr. de Grey over several years and realized that medical research was his calling.

Soon, while he was still just a teenager, Gary Cantor began to study biology at the University of Florida and he also worked as a researcher in his first lab. He also completed a four-month internship with Genentech in their Translational Oncology department, where he served an important role on a team looking into a promising treatment for breast cancer.

Following the University of Florida, he was accepted into the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also joined the university's Genetics and Molecular Biology Department. To Gary Cantor, Durham, which is adjacent to Chapel Hill, is now home.

Gary Cantor is now able to see the human body as an advanced computer. He believes that anyone with knowledge of the body’s instruction manual, which is how he refers to the genome, may be able to get the computer to run well and run forever. Still only in his mid-20s, he is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate with a long time to make inroads in the field of medical research.

Role of genetics vs. epigenetics

June 24, 2016
 
Epigenetics is the study of modifications to DNA, RNA, and proteins that contribute to the regulation of gene expression without altering the chemical bases that make up DNA. Gary Cantor believes that both epigenetic programs gone awry, in additions to DNA damages to the human genome both contribute to aging.

Causes of Aging

June 16, 2016
 
Cantor believes that similar to how an automobile breaks down with use over time, the human body is remarkably similar. However, instead of mechanical components we have biological ones. As we age, our body is under constant seige from the environment. From carcinogens in the food we eat, to the DNA adducts induced by UV light from the sun. Even if we lived in a bubble, void from all environmentally induced DNA and epigenetic damage, whenever a cell divides to replace old cells (i.e. skin sloughing off), the copy is never as good as the original and mutations are inevitably introduced during the process of cellular division. 

Gary Cantor; a Lifetime in Medicine

May 07, 2016
 
Even as a young boy in Coral Springs, Florida, where he was born and raised, Gary Cantor wanted a career in the medical field. He watched a lot of medical reality shows on TV and grew to admire doctors who worked to save people's lives. He realized he wanted to do the same thing when he grew up’ his dream was to be able to give hope to the hopeless.

Gary Cantor's dream took a bit of a turn when he was 13, though, when he saw a YouTube video of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist. Dr. de Grey convinced him that medical research could potentially help people live up to 1,000 years. His discussions with de Grey convinced him that research was the place for him. These days, Gary sees the human body as an advanced computer and believes that anyone with knowledge of its instruction manual, or genome, may be able to make the computer run forever.

Gary Cantor studied biology at the University of Florida and he worked as a researcher in his first lab while still a teenager. One summer, he went to San Francisco for four months, working as an intern for Genentech in their Translational Oncology department, as part of a team looking at a promising treatment for breast cancer.

After Florida, Cantor was accepted into the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he also joined the university's Genetics and Molecular Biology Department. He is still only 26, but he is a Ph.D. candidate and though his career in medical research is just getting started, he promises to help move medical science forward for many years to come.