Gary Cantor, Durham researcher, studied biology and worked in his first medical research lab while still a teen at the University of Florida. While there, he spent a summer in San Francisco as an intern for Genentech in their Translational Oncology department. There, even as a teen, he served on a team looking at a promising treatment for breast cancer. Following his time at Florida, Gary Cantor was accepted into the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, down the road from Durham. While he was there, he also joined the university's Genetics and Molecular Biology Department.
There is nothing like following your dreams. The fact of the matter is, Gary Cantor always wanted to have a career in medicine. When he was a little boy growing up in Coral Springs, Florida, he watched a number of TV medical reality shows and he came to admire the doctors who worked hard to save people's lives and he wanted to do the same thing when he grew up. At first, he wanted to be a surgeon. After all, to a little boy, they looked the coolest. However, that desire changed a bit when Gary Cantor was 13 and he happened upon a video of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist, who basically convinced him that medical research was the way to go.
Nowadays, Gary Cantor, Durham researcher, tends to view the human body as something of an advanced computer. He really believes that anyone with knowledge of its instruction manual, or genome, can make the computer run just about forever. He is also Gary Cantor, Durham Ph.D. candidate. He is only 26, which means his medical research journey is just at the beginning.