Nicola now works as a Research Project Manager at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in California. While a post-doc in the Sawyers lab, she worked to understand the molecular pathways leading to hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Her background is in organic synthesis and chemical biology, and as a graduate student in Tom Scanlan’s lab at UCSF, she synthesized selective estrogen receptor ligands as tools to selectively target transcriptional signaling pathways. In the Sawyers Lab she worked on the androgen receptor at the interface of chemistry and biology, with the goal of translating the research from the bench into the clinic. Prior to her stint at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, she studied at the University of Houston (BA in Chemistry, 1998; BS in Biophysical & Biochemical Sciences, 1998), University of California San Francisco (MS in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 2001; PhD in Chemistry & Chemical Biology, 2004), and UCLA (where she began as a Sawyers’ postdoc in 2005). She also happily learned the tools of the trade in the labs of David Cane (Brown U), Vern Schramm (Albert Einstein) and Harold Kohn (UNC, formerly U of Houston) during her undergrad years. She loves the outdoors, especially the beach and the mountains, and although she enjoys visiting friends and family all over the world, her hometown of Cape Town, South Africa is still her favorite place.