To Gary Cantor, Durham is home right now. He is currently conducting research and studying to complete his Ph.D., even as he concentrates on his medical research work. He wasn’t always in Durham, of course. In fact, his interest in medicine started when he was a young boy in Coral Springs, Florida, and he fell in love with a medical reality TV show called “Trauma: Life in the ER.” At first, he wanted to be a surgeon someday, but that changed when he was 13 and discovered a YouTube video of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, who is a prominent biomedical gerontologist who truly believes medical research can create life expectancies of up to 1,000 years.
That was when Gary Cantor decided a career in medical research. He began his studies at the University of Florida, but while he was there, he also worked as an intern in the Translational Oncology department at Genentech in San Francisco, where he worked on team that was looking into a very important treatment for breast cancer. After completing his studies at Florida, Cantor was accepted into the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also joined UNC’s Genetics and Molecular Biology Department.