The inspiring people around me: who make cancer cell explode and discover the biological clock in the ear

I clearly remember that day, at the end of the January, Stockholm was not covered by snow as it supposed to be. I was on the way to my job interview at the Karolinska Institutet Solna campus. I met Satish, my old colleague, he gave me a warm hug and the gorgeous smile as always, “ You know, Yongtao, I just get my paper accepted! “ I congratulated him. We were both in such a hurry that I did not ask which journal it was, and what was it about.

I did not realize that it was a historical moment when his article was accepted, a novel and intriguing way to cure cancer inspires the world.

Now, the accepted article from Satish Kitambi, who is working in Patrik Ernfors group at Karolinska Institutet, is published in one of the most prestigious journal, “Cell” titled ‘Vulnerability of glioblastoma cells to catastrophic vacuolization and death induced by a small molecule’.  The researchers in the group has tested more than 200 molecules and found that Vacquinol-1, can deform the cancer cell membrane and eventually makes cells “explode”, making cells collapse and die. This has been tested on the most aggressive form of brain cancer cells in mouse.

Several weeks ago, TV news reports another exciting result from the researchers at Karolinska Institutet. I heard the familiar voice from Christopher Cederroth, who is always sitting next to me at the one-year duration course “from Research to Business”. He and his colleagues discovered that there is a biological circadian clock in the hearing organ. This circadian rhythm is important because same level of noise may cause more severe damage to hearing during the night than of the day. This biological rhythm correlates with the amount of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This can be used in the hearing therapy because increased level of BDNF can be protective for the hearing damage.

What do I want to say? —- I am surrounded by inspiring people! Satish Kitambi came from India many years ago. We share the same corridor when our labs were located at Södertörns Högskola. He and his girlfriend went through a lot of difficulties those days. Christopher Cederroth, you cannot miss him because he is over 2 meters tall. He is also a three-children’s father. What do they have in common? Yes, they are intelligent, of course, but that is not enough, what I see is: devotion, devotion, and more devotion! I am proud that I am surrounded by these inspiring people! But, they are also ordinary people; they are a friend who shares troubles, a father who changes the dippers, a researcher who struggle for funding as well.

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