Someone You Should Know: Comic book ‘Cancer Wars’ features research scientist

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:45 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Pilar de la Puente is inspiring women to go into the field of science through researching cancer.

Pilar de la Puente is a research scientist at Sanford Hospital.

Pilar was approached by the Espania Scientists in the United States about participating in a cancer-focused comic book.

“I was super honored,” Pilar said. “I thought, ‘Oh, my God! Is this for real? You really think that I would be one of the people you want to feature?’”

She is a Sanford Research scientist running her own laboratory with a team of other researchers in Sioux Falls.

“I’m trying to use my expertise for fighting these bad diseases,” Pilar said.

Currently, there are nearly 2 million people diagnosed with cancer.

She was excited when she saw the final book that she was featured in.

“I did love it,” Pilar said. “The idea of how they put an image to my whole trajectory — from what I wanted to study. I was between different career paths, wasn’t sure what to do.”

Pilar believes creating a book like “Cancer Wars” is important for young people to see women and non-historical figures be scientists.

She is especially excited to spread awareness of Hispanic scientists like herself.

“I wanted to show it to my kids, and when they saw the book the first time, they were like, ‘Mommy, is that you? Is this how you became a scientist?’” Pilar said.

Pilar will continue to use her research lab to fight cancer.