On Tuesday, November 26, 2013 Angelika Amon visited a biology class and talked to the students about her job. Ms. Amon is a molecular and cell biologist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works with many other scientists in a laboratory, and works on finding a cure for cancer. Though the cure is still far away, they are making amazing progress. Ms. Amon discussed the process and what has to go wrong in the body for someone to develop cancer. Biology teacher Mrs. Gupte said that “what Ms. Amon spoke about directly correlated with what we’re learning in class. We just finished learning about DNA. The students were able to use the knowledge they gained from class to better understand what Ms. Amon was saying.” Many students also found Ms. Amon’s lecture very interesting, and some might even be considering a career in research. Henry Gilbert, sophomore, says, “I really liked that the lecture related to what we were learning. It was nice to see that what we learn in class really does come into real life.”
Currently Ms. Amon’s goal is to obtain a molecular understanding of the regulatory circuits that control chromosome segregation, and, specifically, what occurs when these mechanisms fail. Aneuploidy, the condition of having extra copies of particular genes or chromosomal regions than normal, is one such result of irregularity in the replication of DNA. Aneuploid cells may begin to reproduce at an abnormal rate, forming a tumor, and thus cause cancer. With the help of other scientists, Ms. Amon hopes to reach her goal and help cancer patients get the aid they need.
I found Ms. Amon’s lecture very inspiring. She is able to go to work everyday and help the world while also having fun; after all, Ms. Amon’s job is her hobby. Hopefully, one day I will be able to say the same about my job. I have always found biology interesting, so maybe in twenty years I will be the one visiting classrooms and telling students about how I am making a difference in the world.