UC Berkeley Student Lost $500K in Cancer Studies Due to PG&E Shut-Off

Rebekah Sager
October 16, 2019 - 3:59 pm

A UC Berkeley Ph.D. student told KGO that PG&E's scheduled shutdown may have wiped out years of ground-breaking cancer research worth about $500,000. 

"I kind of had a moment of thinking, 'is my dissertation thesis going to include the lines: I did this, and then it got wiped out because of a power outage. Please let me graduate!'" Sarah Morris told KGO. 

Morris' research topic is treating drug-resistant forms of cancer and it was just a week shy of completion. 

Morris is now forced to wait and see if her samples survived the move from the Cal campus to UCSF, where a generator was running. 

"I remain hopeful, mostly because the alternative is slumping into depression," Morris said. "The nature of my experiment means that I won't really find out the impact until I've sent them off to sequencing. And that's approximately two weeks away. That's two weeks where I just trudge along, hoping for the best because I'm too far along to start over."