Thanks to support from the Gerald C. Baines Foundation and many generous donors, Dr. Sarah Mattonen will soon be joining the Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research. Sarah is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University whose current imaging research focuses on improving the lives of lung cancer patients.
How will your role as a Baines Research Chair in Translational Cancer Imaging help change patient care?
I will be developing image analysis tools to help physicians provide better care. My research involves using imaging information and other patient information, such as genomics, to provide a comprehensive look at cancer as a whole. These computer models can be used for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis.
What inspired you to pursue a career in health care?
I always had a passion for science even at a young age. But it wasn’t until high school when my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer that I saw myself in a career in health care. Seeing firsthand the impact of health care professionals, clinical trials, and research was truly inspiring.
How have donors made a difference in what you do?
If it wasn’t for their generosity, I wouldn’t be where I am today. As a Ph.D. student, I was fortunate enough to work in the Baines Centre. I directly saw the impact donor funding had on our lab and the evolution of my Ph.D. research. Now, because of donors, I’ll be able to work with clinicians in translating research from the bench to the bedside.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love getting youth excited about science at a young age! I’ve been volunteering with Let’s Talk Science, a non-profit science outreach organization, since my first year of graduate school. I also love to stay active through hockey and curling.
Who are your heroes?
My parents encouraged me to work hard and instilled in me the belief that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. My dad lost his battle with rectal cancer last year and I continue every day to try to make a difference for other cancer patients
Sarah loves Seinfeld, Winnie the Pooh, the Montreal Canadiens and spending time at her family “camp” near Thunder Bay.