Dr Njainday Jobe is a postdoctoral cancer researcher at Lund University, Sweden. Dr Jobe finished her PhD last year. Her doctoral research focused on melanoma and how the tumour microenvironment promotes cancer cell invasion and migration.
What motivated Dr Jobe to pursue a career in cancer research?
“I chose to study cancer because I’ve been directly affected by it, and research because I enjoy the timeline of hypothesising, planning, performing, and finally gaining results. I’m constantly learning about different ways in which cancer cells evade the natural mechanisms which should destroy them, and using it to their advantage.”
Dr Jobe’s journey, mentors, and challenges she encountered:
“I don’t think I’ve made it, unless I get that Nature/Cell Press publication. I’m very persistent, and extremely determined Maasha’Allah, I know what I want and I’m doing everything in my power to achieve it. I have also been blessed with strong and successful women in my family, as well as friends. I think with hard work and dedication, everything can be achieved Insha’Allah. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but it’s the truth. A PhD is not something you embark on lightly, you need to really want it and be willing to put in the work. Otherwise, you will be pursuing it for 8+ years.
I think my main challenge was being a woman. I know, ridiculous. We are always reminded that it may be impossible to have a successful career, and a family. I’m determined to have both (Insha’Allah), why do I have to choose one? Or put one on hold? Men do not have to make those decisions and women should not either, especially in this day and age.”
Dr Jobe’s advice for the next generation of STEM professionals:
“Do not follow the rules made by old men decades ago. To the men, you have to work towards getting rid of misogyny in science, and to the women, do not enable misogyny or let it hinder your career. Choose your career WISELY and pursue it. I also think it is important to absorb as much from your colleagues, especially techniques, you can’t be too experienced. Good luck!”