From the editor:

Step by step

Nov. 13, 2019

I take a walk with my dog pretty much every evening after work. We usually go at least a mile, sometimes more than two. The things that run through my mind are usually what to cook for dinner, wondering if I need to do laundry, thinking about what show to binge or taking note of home décor I like in the neighborhood. I also think about keeping my active dog busy with treats, so she ignores the occasional squirrel, rabbit, deer or turkey in our path. 

Sometimes the only thing running through my mind is song lyrics either from earlier that day or often from decades before. Nothing like inexplicably having “London Calling” running through your head for no reason whatsoever. 

Of course, I sometimes think about the streetlights going on and off in my presence, as I’ve mentioned before. And, sometimes there’s nothing at all running through my mind. I just breathe the air and focus only on moving forward. With the recent snowstorm — yesterday — I really only thought about not falling.

Apparently, those are not the kind of walks brilliant MSU researchers and spouses Sophia and Richard Lunt take. Step by step, instead of singing The Clash, they think about things like curing cancer. Not only do they think about it, they actually come up with real solutions they put into practice.

It was on one of these walks where they were discussing Richard’s ground-breaking work with solar glass that they made a connection to Sophia’s work with metabolic pathways and cancer cells. And, just like that, while I’m watching streetlights, they came up with a way to combine their research to effectively target and kill cancer cells.

Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Taking steps to tackle cancer, to learn more about their incredible work. Make sure to check out the video too. These Spartans are really, really smart but also, really, really cool. Their dedication to solving one of our biggest health problems using cross-disciplinary research and collaboration is what being a Spartan is all about.

Finding solutions to all kinds of health challenges is a cornerstone for a lot of Spartans. Renee Canady is an assistant professor in the College of Human Medicine and the CEO of the Michigan Public Health Institute. She’s motivated by the social impact an illness has on a person or family. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Making vital changes for health equity, to learn more about her work and why she says, “If you’re going to do the work of health equity authentically, then you have to deal with the reasons why people are not healthy.”

Mohammad Ibrahim, a medical student and Ph.D. candidate in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, is also working hard to become the best physician and leader that he can. Read his STUDENT VIEW: A call to action, to learn why he believes advocacy is vital to societies.

Tonight, when I take my walk, I’m reasonably sure I won’t be thinking of ways to cure cancer. I’ll probably be thinking about staying warm. But I might be thinking about all of the incredible Spartans out there who are constantly coming up with ways to improve our world and the lives of people in it. Step by step, Spartans are making amazing strides in research and work that will put us all on a path to success. #SpartansWill.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner