Working at Foundation Medicine has had an important impact on my life. In large part, that impact is because I get to see my own direct impact on the lives of cancer patients and their families each and every day. Sadly, most people have a personal connection to cancer, and that connection is at the core of my reason for joining the team.
My passion for helping patients and their families began when my father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2011. I became an advocate for him, fighting for the best possible care. My father had a single hot spot test, which was the only genomic testing available at the time. That experience was my introduction to genomic sequencing and testing. It was so early on, but I felt like I was being educated. I know what it’s like to be on the patient side of things and waiting for test results, and that is what drove me to apply for a position here.
I first joined Foundation Medicine in May of 2015 as a member of the automation engineering team. In my role, I collaborate with my colleagues to ensure that all of the automation and instruments in the lab are operating correctly and are properly maintained. Our team oversees both our Cambridge- and North Carolina-based lab facilities.
My experience with my father’s cancer brings a whole new meaning to what I do. When I see a sample in a pipetting channel, I have a heightened clarity for its significance. It’s not just liquid—there’s a patient, a story, a whole family impacted by our work.
I see a lot of passion every day from my colleagues, and I feel privileged and fortunate to be working here every day. People are constantly challenging the status quo because they feel so strongly about delivering the best work possible. Our culture encourages people raise the tough questions—you can truly feel our teams’ dedication to doing the right thing for patients and innovating across departments to achieve the greatest solutions. In my four years here, I’ve often heard people say, “We understand that this is the harder path, but it’s the better path.”