Computational biologist Dr. Olivier Elemento was just 6 years old when he received his first microscope and computer. Now he is harnessing the power of both to spot patterns and trends in cancer that could help doctors treat the disease — and perhaps even find a cure.
"A lot of what we do involves taking patient samples and looking at what kind of mutations we see in those cancer cells," said Dr. Elemento, an associate professor of physiology and biophysics and of computational genomics in computational biomedicine, associate director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine, and head of the computational biology group at the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine. "We never forget that behind each cell, behind each number, behind each pattern, there's a patient. It reminds me that we have to work harder to make their lives better — and that's why I love what I do."
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