It was when he was still a very young boy in Coral Springs, Florida, that Gary Cantor discovered the medical reality show, “Trauma: Life in the ER,” on TV and felt a calling to a career in medicine. At first, he admired the surgeons and wanted to be one, but then, when he was 13, Gary Cantor saw a YouTube video that changed that course, to a certain point.
The video featured Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist, who convinced him that medical research was the key to everything. That doctor firmly believes that people can live to as much as 1,000 years, but the key to that comes with copious amounts of medical research. Over the years, Gary Cantor had numerous discussions with Dr. de Grey and became convinced that his calling was to be a medical researcher.
These days, Gary Cantor, Durham medical researcher, is a fourth-year Ph.D. and now sees the human body as an advanced computer. He now understands that anyone with knowledge of the body’s instruction manual, known as the genome, may be able to make the computer run well and run forever. His education and his medical research journey started when he was studying biology at the University of Florida while he was still a teenager. In addition to working as a researcher in his first lab back then, he also spent one summer in San Francisco, as a four-month internship with Genentech in their Translational Oncology department, where his team worked on a promising treatment for breast cancer. Still only 26, Gary looks forward to a long, illustrious career changing the face of medicine.