Chapter 03: Research on Fibroblasts and the Decision to Transition to a New Role

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Chapter 03: Research on Fibroblasts and the Decision to Transition to a New Role

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Description

Dr. Broch gives his initial perspective on the institution and the tight social and working environment of the Department of Radiation Oncology under Rod Withers. He then talks about shifting to work with Lester Peters, MD on several studies attempting to predict the radio-sensitivity of normal tissue by looking at fibroblasts. He describes the frustrations with these studies, which culminated in diminishing grant money. Dr. Brock explains that he began to think about retiring at this point.

Identifier

BrockW_01_20181204_C03

Publication Date

12-4-2018

Publisher

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The Interview Subject's Story - The Researcher; The Researcher; Discovery and Success; Obstacles, Challenges; Collaborations; Formative Experiences; Definitions, Explanations, Translations; Overview

Transcript

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

So, I mean, I kind of want to ask you about your impressions of the institution at that time. That was just before the ’80s. And then I also want to ask how your research evolved. So which would you like to talk about? [laughs] Bill Brock, PhD Well, let’s start with the impressions of the institution. First of all, as a postdoc, I was pretty much isolated from most of the institution, so I had no exposure to clinical activities, just the laboratories. And how was the institution different back then? Well, most of the current institution wasn’t even built at that time, [laughs] right? [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Oh, really? Bill Brock, PhD [ ] The department had about 25 people, and [everyone was very friendly.] People socialized together, and collaborated a lot. [ ] The chair of the department was Rod Withers. [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

I have, but... Yeah. Bill Brock, PhD [ ] [He was an interesting character as well as a] brilliant scientist, and physician. [ ] He was very openminded, liberal-minded, and let people do their thing. [The magic was his ability to give everyone good ideas.] [ ] The department [was very well known] in terms of the Radiation Biology, and still is. [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Interesting. Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well, you were talking about being isolated from the clinical side, as a fellow, and then how vital it was in terms of socially and scientifically. And I’m wondering how your impression changed when you became—when you joined faculty. I mean, and I guess maybe you began to have more insight into the clinical side of the institution, or...? Bill Brock, PhD Yeah, because—

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

What did you see differently? Bill Brock, PhD As a faculty member, you [gain other responsibilities. You expand your activities to other part of the institution by committee membership and you meet a lot of other people.] [ ] One of the people that had a big impression on me was Lester Peters, who was the Division Head of Radiation Oncology for several years. He was actually on the faculty when I came to Experimental Radiation Oncology. [ ] [He encouraged me to work in areas that were more clinically relevant.] So much of the work we were doing in looking at the sensitivity of tumor and] normal tissue [cells made use of samples from patients.]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, I noticed that your research began to take that direction, looking at the reaction of normal cells. Bill Brock, PhD Yeah. Yeah.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

What—[coughs] excuse me, goodness. What were some of the findings of those studies? I mean, because you guys did a lot of publishing on that subject together. Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

That’s amazing. Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Now— Bill Brock, PhD So that’s a whole different story. We’ll start from the beginning on that.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD The Ombuds Office started in 2000. I was still a faculty member then. And... Yeah, well, that’s what the timing was.

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Chapter 03: Research on Fibroblasts and the Decision to Transition to a New Role

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