1 Paula wants to discover a cure for cancer. Chemist
By Kent Hannon

(MONEY Magazine) – ! Rob Phillips works in a laboratory that seems like it belongs in a science- fiction movie. It is filled with sharp smells, gurgling sounds, odd-shaped glassware (called beakers and flasks) -- and a lot of electronic equipment that lights up and gives off humming and whirring sounds. The lab was certainly an exciting place to Paula Saylor, who visited it to learn what a career in cancer research might be like. Rob Phillips is a research chemist at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Research chemists study how substances react to different chemicals. They are among the many kinds of scientists trying to find a cure for cancer. Rob spent three years trying to find out whether a chemical and an enzyme, working together, would kill or slow the growth of skin-cancer cells. Enzymes are chemicals produced by the human body. It turned out that the mixture wouldn't kill or slow the cancer cells. Rob is helped out by graduate students such as Milton Sloan who want to become research chemists. Graduate students are students who already have college diplomas and are working on advanced degrees, called master's degrees and Ph.D.s. (In the photograph on the opposite page, Rob is on the right and Milton is on the left in the background.) Rob told Paula that a research chemist has to be three things. ''You have to be curious,'' said Rob, ''because curiosity is what fuels all great inventions and discoveries.'' ''You also have to be willing to work under pressure,'' Rob said, because when a group like the American Cancer Society gives you money for research, it expects you to learn something important. ''And you have to be patient,'' he said, ''because research chemists may work for years trying to solve a single problem.'' Paula thinks she has what it takes to be a research chemist. ''I love watching chemical reactions when something changes from a gas to a liquid or from a liquid to a solid,'' she said. ''I figure that if chemistry is fun, it will never seem like work!''