Melody Di Bona, PhD

Melody Di Bona, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

Abstract 1589: Unraveling the mechanisms underlying micronuclear rupture, a seminal event in cancer progression. 

What are your long-term goals?  

My long-term goals revolve around the academic path: I plan to lead my own independent research group by merging my expertise in nanoscopy and physics, acquired during my PhD, with my background in biology, a feature that is already shaping my postdoctoral experience in cancer cell biology. I would like to focus my future research on the physical properties of biological milieu and proteins (i.e. phase separation processes, tackled already in my current projects) and how they are altered in aggressive cancers, with a parallel endeavor in providing new therapeutic strategies for metastatic cancers treatment that are not anymore centered on a molecular or chemical target, but instead on a physical state. 


Please share information about how the pandemic has impacted your research over the last two years.  

The pandemic imposed a huge toll on my research in several ways. Not only the experimental side of it was completely stopped during lockdown, losing cell lines in derivation and long-lasting experiments that were abruptly terminated, but also the restart was long and slow, given the constraint of working in shifts of around 6 hours and the subsequent limited amount of performable experiments in such a small and irregular time frame. Some of the pandemic effects are protracting even nowadays, such as the delays and problems in plastic-ware orders delivering and availability, that furthermore delay the overall work. Another ongoing problem originating from this pandemic is personal isolation: science lost a big part of its collaborative aspect; networking has become very hard with a consequent stagnation of ideas. Even though the situation is undoubtedly getting better, as it is reflected in the quality of my science and in the benefits I personally got from slowly starting meeting other fellow researchers again, I am definitely looking forward to fully resuming in-person activities and in forgetting all of the delays and problems this pandemic caused to the scientific advancement.