Written for Mediaplanet’s Women in Technology campaign.
Published in print inside the Maclean’s on October 12, 2015.
When Microsoft software development engineer Dr. Jenna Butler first started exploring computer science, she did not expect it to reroute her career path. Her passion was studying cancer, but she didn’t see how computers could connect to that pursuit.
While doing her undergraduate degree in biochemistry, Butler took a linear algebra class and the professor pointed out that she could combine her aptitude for computer science with her passion for cancer research.
“It was really this teacher who helped me figure out that I could use computing to make a difference in the field of cancer research,” says Butler, who recently completed her PhD in bioinformatics, using computer simulations to study the efficacy of cancer drug treatments.