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Richard White

Cancer biologist

I attended university in New York, where I did a combined degree in both medicine and research (which is commonly called the MD/PhD path in the United States). This allowed me to gain broad experience both care of patients but also basic science research. Following my degrees, I eventually moved to Harvard to complete advanced clinical training in Oncology (cancer care) and laboratory research. It was during this time that I became fascinated with studying cancer in fish – which seemed odd at the time but now makes sense. The fish we chose – zebrafish – naturally develop tumours. We further created a strain of zebrafish called casper that is largely transparent, which has the advantage that it lets us see cancer from the very beginning. This is something we cannot do in humans, but by studying it in these fish, we have gained many insights into the very origins of cancer.