I completed my Ph.D. thesis work with Kathleen H. Burns, M.D., Ph.D. My work centers around a basic question: How do cells survive the expression of LINE-1 retrotransposons? We believe this question is important in understanding cancer biology, since it seems that cancers, broadly speaking, tolerate reactivation of these transposons. The curious bit was that “normal” cells have a lot of trouble growing while also expressing these transposons, so that clued us in that there must be some way cancer-like cells handle that toxicity. We think that understanding these mechanisms could reveal something fundamental about the selective pressures imposed on tumors during their evolution, and could inform therapy. At the time we started, few in the LINE-1 field were interested in the translational potential for this biology, and even fewer cancer labs were really excited by transposons. We saw an opportunity to bridge this gap.