For as long as humans have been around, we’ve sought to understand how our bodies work and get better at healing our illnesses. While this curiosity has enabled some life-changing discoveries, including antibiotics and vaccines for once deadly infections, many diseases still elude our grasp.
During this season of D4P, we explored the science of how we study ourselves, and how our complexity, both as biological systems and as people with unique lives and identities, creates challenges and opportunities for improving human health. We drew throughlines from the past to the present, examining how historical biases and power structures have influenced the way scientific knowledge is generated, valued, and transformed into medical advances. Drawing from recent research, we considered the question “how do we study ourselves?” through topics like the ethics of genome sequencing studies, the rationale for gender- and race-balanced clinical trials, and the role of social inequities in healthcare access and outcomes. We also explored new, innovative practices–from designing experiments that more closely match our biology to uniting patients and scientists in the study of rare diseases–to ask the next, even more important question: “how do we get better at it?”
About Our D4P Fellow
Jude is a third-year PhD student in the BCMB program at WCM, and focuses on understanding
the molecular and genetic interplay between oncogenic transcription factors in prostate
tumorigenesis and prostate cancer progression. To carry out his work he deploys a multitude of
techniques including, in vitro and ex vivo genetic modulation of mammalian cells, bulk and
single-cell gene expression profiling, chromatin accessibility and cistrome profiling, drug-
response studies and more. Before graduate school, Jude completed his undergraduate
education in Boston and worked in a research technician position at various institutions. In his
spare time, he actively volunteers in outreach-related activities, runs a podcast to highlight the
journeys of aspiring physicians and scientists, is a martial arts enthusiast (have done
Taekwando and karate) and is learning to play the guitar.