Dr. Garcia-Buntley is a scientific project manager for the antibody characterization laboratory supporting the Clinical Proteomics Tumor Analysis Program. Prior to her role at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, she pioneered the use of inhibitors to determine how nutrient availability affects the growth of the Lyme disease pathogen as a postdoctoral fellow at the Uniformed Services University. Dr. Garcia-Buntley received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where her work focused on microbiome analysis, protein expression and purification, and dispersion of biofilms.
What has been a low point or challenge in your scientific journey and what helped you overcome it?
As a post-doc, I struggled to start a new model (Lyme disease) in the lab. No one I knew and no one else in the institution was working with the bacterium. The loneliess in the struggle was difficult. What helped me was to just start cold emailing whoever I could and hope to get in contact with someone who could help. I was pleasantly surprised that the PIs and postdocs I reached out to were very open, friendly, and willing to share their protocols.
What is something about science or your current work that you find fascinating or motivating?
As a scientific project manager, I help support science by working with the NCI to provide resources and manage the progress of several scientific projects. I am so proud to be doing my part to help our groups continue working on clinical cancer proteogenomics with the goal of creating better diagnostics, therapies, and disease outcomes.