Purdue School of Science at IUPUI
For most researchers, cancer-related projects focus on the patient: developing a treatment, seeking a cure, identifying risk factors. But for Silvia Bigatti and her team, those inquiries overlook another element of a cancer patient's circumstances — the family.
The Purdue School of Science researcher heads a group exploring the impact that caring for family members with breast cancer has on spouses (almost always husbands). Their lives are turned inside-out and upside-down by the demanding role of caregiver, coupled with the natural fear of long-term illness or even the possible death of their wives.
Bigatti's research team is gathering information from spouses and other family members, seeking common circumstances that might lead to steps or tactics that would help cancer victims and their families cope with life a bit more easily.
Her work earned Bigatti a place in IU's prestigious FACET (Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching) honor organization during the 2005-06 academic year.