This week, we're presenting stories about the ways we respond and recover to dire situations in science, whether it's cancer or sexual assault. Part 1: Biochemist Melanie McConnell encounters unexpected resistance when she tests an experimental cancer treatment. Part 2: Rape survivor Mo Culberson helps train doctors to treat other rape survivors. Melanie McConnell has a life-long interest in cancer cell biology. She has studied pediatric, brain, breast, and skin cancers, all to better understand the intricate process of gene regulation. After establishing the Cancer Stem Cell programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, she joined the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research is aimed at reducing relapse and improving to life-saving cancer therapies by understanding how cancer cells survive chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation treatment. She’s currently focused on the role of mitochondria in therapy resistance. In her real life, she is married to Richard, is mum to two girls, and spends her time with them and the dog, making compost and tending to the weeds in her vege garden. Mauree "Mo" Culberson loved physics and chemistry when she was younger. While helping her physics teacher hang lights for the theater department a spotlight hit her on a dark stage and she's been performing ever since. Mauree is a writer, storyteller, and performer. She earned her degree in Theatrical Design and Technology and English from the University of Mississippi. Mauree has written for The Atlanta Fringe Festival, the Working Title Playwrights 24 Hour Play Festival and Emory University’s Brave New Works. She has shown her skills as a puppeteer, actor, comic, and improviser in Atlanta. The interaction of art and science continues to be her muse.
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