Andy Khamoui, Ph.D., said he struggled finding his career path growing up, and couldn’t imagine earning a doctorate degree or researching cancer.
“Teenage Andy kind of struggled in high school and wasn’t like his peers who had everything together,” said Khamoui, who found his path and now studies cancer cachexia, a life-threatening complication of cancer characterized by severe weight loss, skeletal muscle dysfunction, physical frailty and intolerance to anti-cancer treatment, as an assistant professor in the department of exercise science and health promotion in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
He narrows his research on cancer cachexia to how it affects different organs in the body, he said.
Khamoui earned a bachelor’s and graduate degree in kinesiology at Whittier College, California, and California State University, Fullerton, respectively. But, he said, it wasn’t until he joined fellow students working in a science lab that he decided he wanted to teach as a professor, and went on to earn a doctorate degree from Florida State University.
Recently, he was accepted into a prestigious training workshop on energetics and cancer, called the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC).
TREC, co-hosted by Yale University and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, funded by the National Cancer Institute, also came with a year-long mentorship that helps scientists develop skills in grant writing and completing applications to external funding agencies.
Through this workshop, Khamoui said, he is also connecting with other scientists at the same stage in their career. It’s opportunities like TREC that confirm to Khamoui that he’s on the right path. “It was an opportunity to connect early-career scientists with more experienced researchers in the field of energy balance and cancer,” moving him one step closer to his goal of better understanding cancer cachexia and providing new avenues of supportive care and treatment for the millions of patients that are fighting cancer.