On the Brink of Finding a Cure: Young Biologist Banks Her Career on Cancer Research

By Goode, Robin White | Black Enterprise, February 1996 | Go to article overview

On the Brink of Finding a Cure: Young Biologist Banks Her Career on Cancer Research


Goode, Robin White, Black Enterprise


Professor Jill Bargonetti is the youngest biologist on the faculty of Hunter College in New York, but age isn't the only thing that sets the 33-year-old scientist apart from her peers. She has also been described as on the brink of a medical science breakthrough.

In 1990, while a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University, Bargonetti discovered a correlation between a specific gene's ability to bind to DNA and its ability to suppress tumors. When healthy, the p53 gene's protein puts the brakes on cell growth. But when the gene is not healthy, or mutated, its protein does the exact opposite, encouraging tumor cells to multiply out of control.

The biologist's cutting-edge research has garnered her a three-year grant of $300,000 from the American Cancer Society, and a four-year career development award of $200,000 from the Department of Defense to focus her research on breast cancer. These grants will help further her research of the DNA-binding properties of p53 on human chromosomes. Working with grad students, Bargonetti will observe how normal p53 and mutant p53 bind to a variety of DNA sites at different times in the cell's life cycle.

"By learning how normal and mutant p53 interact with DNA," Bargonetti says, "we may be able to target cancer drugs to the precise locations needed to prevent or reverse tumor cell growth."

Bargonetti's interest in science was piqued in high school, and she earned an M.S. in molecular biology in 1987 and a Ph.D. in 1990, both from New York University. Out of 3,288 scientists who received Ph.D.s in biology that year, she was one of 41 blacks. But it was her four-year postdoctoral work at Columbia that was a rich experience for the scientist. "You learn how to set up a lab, how to ask the right questions, and you bring your own ideas to the research."

What may have been most important, though, was developing her ability to devise "beautiful" questions. "A lot of science is creative thought. You must keep that creative mind-set so you don't get stuck in rutted thinking." It was Bargonetti's ability to ask an original question about p53 that led to her discovery. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On the Brink of Finding a Cure: Young Biologist Banks Her Career on Cancer Research
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.