Gary Cantor, Durham Researcher, Got His Calling From TV

March 25, 2017
For Gary Cantor, Durham is a great place to learn how to make sure people can live for 1,000 years. No, that’s not a typo. When he was about 13 and he found a YouTube video of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a prominent biomedical gerontologist who firmly believes that medical research can create life expectancies as high as 1,000 years. That’s when Gary Cantor knew that he wanted to embark on a medical research career.

Gary Cantor studied biology at the University of Florida. There, he became a medical researcher while he was still a teenager. He now takes a different approach to human anatomy, in that he sees the human body as an advanced computer and believes that anyone with knowledge of the body’s genome, which functions as the body’s instruction manual, can possibly make the computer run forever. Now working on his Ph.D, Gary Canton made Durham home when he happily accepted a position in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is also part of that school’s Genetics and Molecular Biology Department.

Gary Cantor, Durham Researcher

September 25, 2016
Gary Cantor Durham
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.