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Tom Su

Palm trees, warm weather, and sunny beaches… even a die-hard from Southern California can enjoy internship in New York City! I initially grew up in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, and have lived in “LA-LA land” ever since… until now. After spending a dozen years at UCLA (Go Bruins!), including four years of college plus eight more years in the MD/PhD program, I am now enjoying life as an intern here at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Last year, after my interview here at MSKCC, I was drawn to the program by the highly academic atmosphere, the state of the art facilities, and the unique opportunity to garner an in-depth knowledge in oncology. My interest in cancer stems in part from my PhD research, which dealt with signal transduction in normal and malignant B lymphocytes, eventually helping to push the development of a novel investigational therapy for certain non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. After this year of strong oncology exposure, I will be doing a research track Dermatology-STAR residency back at UCLA. This combination of oncology and dermatology makes sense, especially when one realizes that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the country. In the future, I hope to combine my clinical and research interests in both cancer and the skin to pursue a career in academic dermatology, specifically investigating epidermal proliferation and differentiation and its role in skin carcinogenesis.

Since I will be in New York for only one year, I have been trying to make the most of it. I got engaged this year in New York City. My fiancé and I have been doing all the “touristy” things, from walking through the bright lights of Times Square to watching the July 4th celebration at the Statue of Liberty, from enjoying roller-coasters at Coney Island to setting up simple picnics in Central Park. Even better than the tourist attractions are the many local sites New York City has to offer. From the wide variety of restaurants to try to the myriad of bars and lounges to visit afterwards, I know there is always something to do in this city. Even though I have not seen many palm trees nor a “Hollywood” sign recently, this West Coast guy has adjusted to the “City” quite well and has truly been making the most of his internship year.