Translational Control Meeting

Visitor of the Week: June Bryan de la Pena


Meet June Bryan de la Pena of the University of Texas at Dallas. Under the direct supervision of Dr. Zachary Campbell, the Filipino national is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Laboratory of RNA Control and the Center for Advanced Pain Studies (CAPS). June Bryan was on campus this week for the Translational Control meeting. This is June Bryans’ first CSHL meeting and his participation debut included him presenting a poster entitled “Mechanistic insights into translational controls that drive chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy”. 

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
My current research is focused on the translational control mechanisms that govern chronic pain. In particular, we study translation in peripheral pain-sensing neurons in response to insult or injury and how it contributes to pain plasticity. 

How did you decide to make this the focus of your research?
I have always been fascinated by the notion of doing research to improve our quality of life. Chronic pain causes tremendous burden and suffering to millions of people worldwide; yet current strategies to manage it are limited and has even led to new problems, such as the opioid epidemic. The enormity and the obvious need of solving this problem has led me to focus on this topic. 

How did your scientific journey begin? 
My scientific journey began at home. My father, a national Farmer Scientist in the Philippines, encouraged me to wonder, dream, and explore. My mother also nurtured my inquisitiveness. With the full support of my family, I set out on my scientific journey, crossed the ocean, and braved the exciting world of scientific research. In this journey, I have met a lot of people that inspired me to move forward and soar higher. 

Was there something specific about Translational Control meeting that drew you to attend?
My primary motivations to attend this meeting are to be exposed to the translational control field and to become abreast of the latest developments and techniques. In addition, I was given the opportunity to present my preliminary data and receive input from colleagues.  

What is your key takeaway from the meeting?
In this meeting, I learned that translational control is a huge, diverse, and exciting field. The principles and techniques of translational control can be used to shed light into the mechanism of – and ultimately develop – new treatment strategies for various clinical disorders.   

What did you pick up or learn from the meeting that you plan to apply to your work?  
The field of translational control is all new to me. This meeting has exposed me to what other people are working on and has given me ideas on how to expand and tweak my current research project. I have also established contacts with colleagues who I can potentially collaborate with in the future. 

If someone curious in attending a future iteration of this meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I only have good words to tell them. This meeting is jam-packed with relevant and the latest content for anyone interested in translational control. Each session was very informative, and the speakers are all well-respected in the field. The atmosphere is filled with contagious enthusiasm that promotes discussion and learning. 

How many CSHL meetings have you attended?
This is my first CSHL meeting and I will definitely attend another one in the near future. This has been one of the most comprehensive and informative meeting that I have attended so far, and has set the standard for me of what a scientific meeting should be.  

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
This was my first time in CSHL and I am greatly pleased. Surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking waterfront, the campus is both relaxing and stimulating. The food was great too!

Thank you to June Bryan for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.