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Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Lian Willetts shines light on the frontiers of discovery

Dr. Lian Willetts was awarded 2nd place in the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin representing Dr. John Lewis’ lab by presenting: “Breaking the Walls of Prostate Cancer Metastasis”

Lab Falling Walls is an international competition that challenges graduate students to showcase how their research is redefining their respective fields and breaking down the walls to the next major scientific breakthrough. The University of Alberta is one of 20 approved international events, and the Sept. 30 event saw 16 outstanding examples of graduate research. Dr. Willetts was awarded 1st place during this night.

International Labs and the Finale in Berlin

Falling Walls Lab is a global scale event that takes place in different vibrant cities around the world throughout the year. The Falling Walls Lab Finale is held each year in Berlin on 8 November. The Finale gathers 100 participants, among them all winners of the international Labs.

Our First Participant!

Thanks to the participation from men with suspected prostate cancer and men diagnosed with prostate cancer, we will be able to measure if our “tests” can reveal the true nature of prostate cancer and if the tests or biomarkers can diagnose prostate cancer and tell us what cancers are more aggressive.

As part of the Alberta Prostate Registry and Biorepository, patients will be entered into our study, in which blood and other samples are collected over time and their health outcomes are recorded over many years. Patients will follow standard medical advice and care through their doctors. Our team collect biospecimens and information related to general health and cancer behavior over time.

Rather than being frightened by the word ‘cancer’, we want to learn how to predict serious and morbid prostate cancer complications well before they happen, so that we can weigh carefully the pros and cons of available treatments.

In the process, we expect to identify new and important advantage points for better therapies to be developed. The word “cancer” may be scary, but what is truly scary is unawareness.

“It makes me very happy to be able to contribute to find better ways to diagnose prostate cancer.”

- Mr. Garcia