Staff Spotlight: Mariya Stavnichuk
Job title: Research Technician
Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine
What made you want to work for the Ivy Brain Tumor Center?
I was interested in pursuing translational research where scientific discoveries could be directly applied to clinical practices. At the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, I can use my basic research training to conduct preclinical studies that have the potential to be directly translated into Phase 0 clinical studies.
What does it mean to you to work for the Ivy Center?
Working at the Ivy Center gives me a strong sense of responsibility since the quality of my work has a direct impact on the advancement of glioblastoma treatment and people’s lives.
What motivated you to get into the medical field, specifically research?
I got into a life science program because I was fascinated by the intricacy of the human body and stayed in the medical research field since there is still a lot to learn.
What’s the culture like at the Ivy Center? What makes working here different than other research centers?
There is strong collaboration between the preclinical and clinical teams at the Ivy Center. This results in faster translation of basic research findings into clinical studies compared to purely academic labs, where scientific discoveries may take decades to result in changes to clinical practices.
Have you ever been personally impacted by brain cancer?
While I do not know anyone with brain cancer, my family has been impacted by other cancers. I know firsthand what it is to experience the shock of the initial diagnosis, the hope that comes with the treatments, and the desperation that comes when none of them work. This makes me appreciate the urgency with which new therapies are needed for cancers with poor prognosis, such as glioblastoma.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Knowing that my work is contributing towards identifying treatments that can extend lives of glioblastoma patients or potentially find a cure is my favorite part of the role. Each day we are getting closer to finding a therapy for this disease. It is very rewarding yet makes me feel a strong sense of responsibility for all my work because of its direct impact on human lives.
What keeps you motivated when dealing with such a complex disease?
Knowing that I work with a team of multidisciplinary researchers who all contribute their knowledge to solving this complex disease.
Explain your role in the research being conducted at the Ivy Center?
As a research technician in the preclinical lab at the Ivy Center, I work with a team of scientists on developing preclinical models that are used to test various drugs to improve the current treatment regimens for glioblastoma.