1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
My name is Sawyer Badiuk. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University, working under Dr. Eugene Wong and Dr. Jeff Chen’s supervision. Before starting my graduate studies at Western, I completed a Master of Science in Medical Physics at the University of Manitoba.
2. Why is the TBCRU Studentship Award important to you?
Receiving this award is an honour. It helps to connect me with other incredible labs and researchers who are working on breast cancer research. The award helps fund my experiments and gain knowledge about breast cancer treatment.
3. Tell us about your research. What are you doing, and what problems do you hope to solve?
My research monitors breast cancer cells and inflammation in the brain after receiving radiation. I am using innovative imaging methods to find a new and more effective radiation treatment to prevent breast cancer spread to the brain (metastases).
4. Why is your research important? How can your research be applied in the real world?
Recently, more and more breast cancer patients are developing brain metastases. The data acquired from this research and our approach will help design a clinical trial to better treat brain metastases in breast cancer patients with fewer side effects.
5. What inspired your research?
The research I am working on was inspired by previous breast cancer research completed in our lab and novel imaging approaches that can further this research. This work brings together the expertise of multiple labs. It applies imaging analysis to help find a treatment for breast cancer brain metastases.
6. Why are you passionate about breast cancer research?
Breast cancer has always been a big part of my life. During my undergrad at Laurentian University, I had family and friends going through breast cancer treatment. Although I was already invested in medical physics, this personal experience truly solidified my passion for breast cancer research.
7. Why do you think breast cancer research matters?
Breast cancer affects so many people. Even if you don’t have breast cancer yourself, you know somebody whose life has been impacted by it. The effects of breast cancer extend further than just a person’s physical health; it affects mental health, relationships, finances and outlook. Breast cancer research can change a patient’s outcome, experience and overall life.
8. What excites you about your work?
My research can be used in clinical trials to reduce patient side effects and improve outcomes. This clinical significance excites and motivates me. Additionally, the research I am working on will help me gain knowledge in various technical techniques.
9. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I hope to complete a medical physics residency after completing my Ph.D. This will allow me to begin a career as a Medical Physicist and work in a cancer centre to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
10. What do you like to do when you aren’t working on research?
When I am not working on research, I can be found at the gym or in the great outdoors. Basically, anything that gets me outside and keeps me active! I love skating, hiking and fishing. I also enjoying volunteering; two of the main places I volunteer with our Let’s Talk Science and Big Brothers Big Sisters of London.
SUPPORT RESEARCHERS LIKE SAWYER BADIUK BY CONSIDERING A DONATION TO THE BREAST CANCER SOCIETY OF CANADA. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP FUND LIFE-SAVING RESEARCH, VISIT BCSC.CA/DONATE TODAY.