Alexa Caruso ‘19 speaks at Biology Department Seminar about cancer research


Caruso ’19 holds a B.S. in Biochemistry. from Union College and is currently pursuing her PhD at Albany Medical College

Avanti Khare, Sci-Tech Editor

This past Thursday, Alexa Caruso ‘19 spoke about the research she is conducting at Albany Medical College as part of her Masters degree. At Union College, Caruso was a biochemistry major and worked with Prof. Brian Cohen to research the impacts of single nucleotide polymorphisms on depression. Her current research focuses on the types of movement systems and shape changes used by metastatic cancer cells, or cancer cells that form tumors in sites far removed from the initial tumor.

Caruso credits Union College’s emphasis on thinking critically in preparing her for graduate school, emphasizing that “Regardless of which field you choose to be in, you need to be able to analyze problems and think critically to find the best way to solve them.”  She also credits the research opportunities and lab courses that she participated in while at Union with her knowledge of a wide variety of research techniques that she has been able to apply to the research she is now conducting.

When asked what advice she has for current students who are thinking about what they want to pursue after graduation, Caruso says to, “read job descriptions and their requirements and see if anything stands out as something you might enjoy. If some of the jobs that interest you require graduate school, then talk to current graduate students about what it’s like and what different job opportunities you might have after graduate school.” She also notes that “it’s important to remember that whatever path you choose right now isn’t what you have to stick with forever. You can always start a job or graduate school in one field, and then switch to something else if you find you aren’t happy with what you’re doing.”