PROFESSOR Paul Jubinsky says Ballarat’s cancer research can compete with heavyweights at Harvard and Yale universities in the United States – if the questions they are asking are as good.
Visiting from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Professor Jubinsky has been deliberately challenging each scientist at Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute with questions for which they have no answers.
This is how his research has led to discoveries, like the protein that when blocked by antibodies or inhibitors can lead to increased death of cancer cells following chemotherapy. Or the blood disorder he discovered in a child deemed too hard a case for others.
And this is an approach he encourages people to apply in everyday work and life. Professor Jubinsky likens it to a busy person driving direct to the favourite restaurant and unknowingly passing so many good new restaurants popping up along the way.
“People always try to get you focused but when it comes to the big picture, you don't see it...The best things in science are not what's right but what if,” Professor Jubinsky said.
“People probably the world over are constrained by time and challenges. There are many ways of doing things and looking at things, instead of doing them the same.”
Mr Jubinsky has been impressed in how accepting FECRI students have been accepting of other opinions and said there were great advantages to working in a little laboratory.
In Ballarat, Professor Jubinsky is keen to tap into FECRI honourary director George Kannourakis’ network support and the way this lab can get things done faster. A smaller environment and great access to samples he says would be the envy of most PhD students in the US.
Professor Jubinsky knows the heavyweight labs well. He undertook postdoctoral research studies at Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute at Harvard University, has worked at MD Anderson in Houston, Yale University and Albert Einstein.
While his specialty is in blood disorders, Professor Jubinsky’s findings have relevance in his long-standing collaboration with FECRI.
What Professor Jubinsky valued most in his visit was the strong community connections to FECRI and how in turn, this would benefit in both growing the research and the region.
“You want smart people who want to be here,” Professor Jubinsky said. “You want people who want this city to go ahead and who are prepared to say what could be done.”
Professor Jubinsky is FECRI’s second John Turner international visiting research professor.
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