Inside My Lab: Luis Parada

VIDEO | 02:46

Go inside the lab of Luis Parada from MSK’s Brain Tumor Center.

Show transcript

Being a scientist is an act of love.

Scientists are there to discover, and it has to be something that comes from within. It's something that requires full commitment.

My name is Luis Parada, and I'm the Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Inside my lab, we work on genetically engineered mouse models to try to understand how cancer begins. We need to understand better concepts that simply have escaped us until now.

The other important development in our research is our ability to take tumor samples from patients at neurosurgery and to implant them into the brains of mice. The mice then can grow these tumors.

Now, we can actually watch the tumor develop in real time from its very first cell.

Our hospital, our surgeons, our clinicians — they're all interested in cancer and researching cancer. And so, it creates a real synergy that is very exciting.

Among the many very interesting aspects of our research, we have discovered that glioblastoma — the most prevalent malignant brain tumor, which is incurable — is probably actually more like four or five or even six different diseases that have very unique features.

The goal of the Brain Tumor Center is to create the best possible modern infrastructure for any scientist at MSK who wants to work on brain tumors.

We have made significant advances in cancer research in my laboratory that are actually in the textbooks, that have actually changed the way people thought about a problem that's been here since the emergence of humanity.

An integral part of being a scientist is training the next generation.

I expect a lot from my trainees. Happily, they expect a lot from themselves.

The idea really is to develop an interpersonal relationship with each individual and try to help them to be the best that they can be and to learn how it is to be devoted to become a scientist.