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Blood Ties: The Inspiration behind a Potential Sepsis Breakthrough

By June 14, 2017No Comments

A professor at the University of British Columbia, where he is director of the Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, Hancock is considered a world leader in his field. In an interview, he points out that he’s fortunate to get a lot of funding, which gives him the freedom to work on whatever he finds interesting. However, there was one project he couldn’t get any money for, so he paid for it out of his own pocket. The goal was to determine exactly what happens at the cellular level when someone develops sepsis—something no other researcher had been able to accomplish, and something he had been curious about for years. He offered the project to Peña.

Before officially accepting her as a graduate student, Hancock paid for Peña to fly from Los Angeles, where she was working, to Vancouver. Her first trip to Canada was far from easy—and in a way, it would foreshadow the next five years she would spend working on sepsis.