Inside My Lab: Scott Lowe

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Go inside the lab of Scott Lowe from SKI’s Cancer Biology & Genetics Program.

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What excites me the most about having smart, creative people in the lab is when they come up with ideas that I never could have imagined myself. My name is Scott Lowe and I'm chair of the cancer biology and genetics program at the Sloan Kettering Institute at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In my lab, we study cancer genetics, in particular how mutations that occur in cancer cells actually contribute to tumorigenesis, how they interact with other mutations to give rise to cancers that have different properties, behave differently in animal models or in patients.

The reason we want to understand how gene mutations cause cancer is because we think that through that understanding we can ultimately exploit that information to try to identify vulnerabilities or so called Achilles heels of cancer cells that we could develop new therapies against. I see cancer biology in genetics as really at the epicenter of what goes on at SKI. I'm looking for people that are willing to work hard towards a question of interest.

But most importantly I think to me are two things. One is that they're creative, that they think about things from unique perspectives. And I also want people that will interact with others in the lab or others beyond the lab because I don't believe that it's possible for an individual to conduct cancer research or any research at the highest level without interacting with their environment. One thing I've learned over the years of being a mentor is that not all trainees are created equally. Some require a little push, some require a little pull.

I'm much more of a carrot person than a stick person and I guess I try to get things done by excessive enthusiasm. I think there's no question that my lab is the most fun lab at SKI. We like to work hard, but we also like to have fun. I think collectively that gives a really nice environment for trainees and me to interact.