Michael Geuenich ’20 tells us about his recently published opinion piece in the newspaper and what’s in store for life post-grad. 

What’s your Question?

How can Machine Learning help understand the Human Genome?

What’s your favourite thing about Quest?

Definitely the amount of time I get to spend with my mentor and other faculty, all of whom are experts in their respective fields.

What are your Keystone plans?

I’m working on a project where we are researching two genes that are involved with a rare disease called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. The goal is to finish this by April, so I hope to have time for a whole other project too—stay tuned for the details!

You recently published an opinion piece in the Squamish Chief. How did that come about?

The Life Sciences concentration classes I took last term really got me to rediscover my love for writing, so this summer I thought about what I might like to write about next. Given that the Movember movement was just around the corner, I decided to write about cancer awareness campaigns and how we privilege some cancers over others. I pitched the idea to the Squamish Chief, they liked it, and it got published.

How did you become interested in cancer research?

By taking Life Sciences classes, reading papers and news articles on the subject. Cancer biology is super cool and every time I read about it, I get fascinated. Overall though, it was a very gradual process and there is not really a specific moment that stands out.

Have you ever participated in Movember?

I have not. Actually, it turns out I’m not a fan of growing my beard for longer than a couple of weeks! I might make an exception for this November though.

Aside from growing a moustache, how else can we contribute to the cause?

You can always donate to one of many non-profits that support cancer research. Alternatively, you can keep informed and spread awareness in general.

Anything planned for life after Quest?

Currently, the plan is to get a PhD in computational biology.

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