2/21/2017 Peter Durantine

Surgeon Researcher Alum Offers New Clinical Perspectives on Breast Cancer

After finishing Franklin & Marshall College in 2007 with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Austin Williams pursued his interests—joining Teach for America for two years, earning a master’s degree in science education at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduating from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2013.

While performing his residency in the operating room, Williams also conducts research on breast cancer, which he shared with F&M’s science community during a Feb. 21 lecture, “New Clinical Perspectives on Breast Cancer from a Surgeon in the Laboratory.”

Williams praised his liberal arts education and those “things that I carried from Old Main to the OR.” He said those things, including critical thinking, writing, problem solving and collaborating with faculty “were critically important skills” to his success in his field.

  • Surgeon researcher Williams is examining how treatments for lymphoma could be tailored to treat breast cancer. Surgeon researcher Williams is examining how treatments for lymphoma could be tailored to treat breast cancer. Image Credit: Deb Grove

He added that he owed these abilities to his 2013 publication about why medical students choose to name or not name the cadavers they use in medical school, and to his research, which involves tailoring the treatment for lymphoma cancer – targeting tumor cell receptors – to that of breast cancer.

“This is specific to lymphoma, but this is a tool that we can use with any receptor so our job now is to identify receptors on breast cancer,” Williams said.

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