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PODCAST: Marcus Ruscetti shares his research journey in cancer biology

In a new Voices of UMass Chan podcast, Marcus Ruscetti, PhD, assistant professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology, shares his journey into the field of science. Dr. Ruscetti’s parents, Frank and Sandy Ruscetti, are retired scientists from the National Cancer Institute, and he said he initially tried not to follow in their footsteps.  

Eventually, he said his love for research overtook him, so he tried to differentiate himself a bit by focusing on cancer biology. But the story comes full circle. A big aspect of cancer biology is immunology, and now, Ruscetti is researching immune responses and how they can affect cancer, something his parents studied decades ago. 

My parents taught me that research is an amazing way to benefit people in society. Since I've been at UMass Chan, the community has been fabulous. Everyone is so collaborative,” Ruscetti said. “We are doing both great basic research and also research that has a lot of potential to translate into helping people, which is ultimately our goal, and what has always been my goal in research, to actually benefit people.  

Ruscetti’s research focuses on senescent cells and their role in tumor progression and immune suppression in prostate cancer. His lab is finding new markers of senescent populations during stages of cancer progression with hopes of developing new drugs that target only bad senescent cells. Ruscetti came to UMass Chan in 2020, after completing his postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York 

When not in the lab, Ruscetti carries on his dedication to the cause, as he and his family participate in the annual UMass Cancer Walk, helping to raise money for cancer research.  

Listen to the full Voices of UMass Chanpodcast here: Subscribe through SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts.