With a degree in biology and previous experience in histology and different areas of laboratory research, Karen Winstead has found a perfect career match as a tumor bank coordinator for the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute Tumor Bank.
Restructured and expanded in 2011 under the direction of Hassana Fathallah, PhD, the UC Cancer Institute Tumor Bank offers scientists access to thousands of biological specimens for research—both malignant and paired normal tissues, as well as blood and urine. Here, Winstead talks about why this unique opportunity is an ideal fit for her.
How long have you been with UC and/or the UC Cancer Institute Tumor Bank?
"I have been with UC 11 years, five of which have been with the UC Cancer Institute Tumor Bank. (The service was previously based in pathology.) The position was interesting to me because it was a combination of research and clinical work. I have previous experience in both arenas, and so it was appealing to me.”
Tell us about your current role.
"My current role involves the identification and consenting of cancer patients for procurement of blood and tissue specimens for research purposes. We collect the specimens then they are processed and stored in our freezers and tissue room for future use. When researchers come to the tumor bank to request specimens, we can then provide them with the necessary samples for their studies.”
What do you enjoy about your work?
"I enjoy the interaction with patients as well as being involved with various other areas of patient care such as the operating room, pathology and the clinics.”
What keeps you busy when you aren’t at work?
Well, I am recently married so much of my time is currently being spent setting up house with my new husband. I also belong to a women’s sorority, Beta Sigma Phi, which is involved with several community service projects. My favorite pastimes are travel, baking and music. I love film and am an avid fan of the Academy Awards.”
Tell us something people don’t know about you or wouldn’t expect …
"A great experience for me was being able to attend three Olympic Games: 1984 in Los Angeles, 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Sydney, Australia. I am not an athlete, but I just love the excitement and international spirit that is so much a part of these games.”
More Information About Tumor Banking
To learn more about the UC Cancer Institute Tumor Bank services and access to tissue samples, visit uccancer.com
. The team can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org