You could consider the emulation of biological structures in a virtual environment. It may be easier to join in on an existing project, rather than having to do another degree. Bonus points if you make it a Citizen science project, when people around the world can effectively contribute to fighting cancers and other diseases, including everyday citizens who do not have any medical or biological expertise. Distributed computing projects are a fantastic way to make use of people's computers, smart phones and tablets to donate their computing power to solve real-world problems.
There have been lots of distributed computing projects.
Here are just a few select distributed computing projects running currently:
Folding@home, Rosetta@home - Uses the computational power of people's computer systems to 'fold' protein structures in 3-dimensional space. Protein structures are 'folded' (compacted) in an attempt to reach their optimal state, a stable shape that allows them to function correctly and survive in their immediate environment. Solving naturally occurring protein structures helps scientists understand the function of those proteins more accurately. Novel protein structures can also be created to aid real-world problems, such as treating diseases (vaccines), or creating new materials.
Mapping Cancer Markers - Project that attempts to find markers that relate to different kinds of cancer from the tissue samples of cancerous patients. The markers are compared to identify patterns of markers, to detect signs of cancer growth earlier and customise treatments for specific patients based on their genetic profile. This is a child project of the World Community Grid program, which has featured over 30 different distributed computing projects.
You could also consider the gamification of biological structures, which could make it more appealing for people to install and try out. Existing projects incorporate the 2D or 3D modelling and sequences of biological structures with the goal of allowing everyday citizens without much knowledge in the field of medicine, to contribute towards research in curing various diseases, including cancer. The structures may represent the inner-workings of diseases, or the medicines to fight them with, with the intention of understanding more about them in a virtual environment on a computer system.
Users of a computer program that employs this concept would be expected to interact with a spatial or logical representation of a biological structure on screen, as a kind of puzzle to be solved. The structure may be manipulated in real-time using a keyboard or mouse, and may have a suite of virtual tools that can be used to manipulate the structure in various ways, for various purposes. The gamification aspect helps to maintain their interest, while they work towards achieving a publicly recognised goal or score.
Here are some examples of existing game projects that you may want to check out:
Cancer Crusade - A 2D mobile game featuring treatment management for cancerous cells of individual patients. Use varying amounts and frequencies of chemotherapy, HAPs (Hypoxia Activated Prodrugs), and pro and anti-angio drugs, to slow down and control the growth of cancers over a period of time.
Genigma - A 2D mobile game that aims to fight cancer by studying human genomes. Originally focused on fighting breast cancer, it has since expanded to include the analysis of other cancers. Please note that the game is currently closed for data analysis.
Foldit - A 3D computer game featuring protein structure folding. Similar to Folding@home, it differs in that it allows people the ability to interact with virtual proteins structures themselves using various virtual tools in a user-friendly GUI. People are able to manipulate protein structures in real-time, and can even generate 'recipes' (think programmable sequences of tools) in the Lua language, which can run by themselves at the user's command.
Eterna - A 2D game featuring RNA folding. Similar in concept to (and inspired by) Foldit, it focuses on folding RNA strands by changing sequences of base molecules such that specific shapes are formed for medical purposes. Now available on mobile devices.
If you want to go down the path of making your own citizen science game, or perhaps even a citizen science project that doesn't require interaction (like Folding@home), consider using Unity. It is a game development environment capable of making games (and other programs) that operate on multiple platforms and operating systems, and takes a lot of the ground work out of coding. It uses the C# language natively, and other languages based on the .NET framework may also be used as alternatives.