Mar 02, 2017
Provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope; member of City of Hope’s Executive Team; director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center; Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair; director of Beckman Research Institute and the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences; Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors member
What led you to oncology?
SR: I was affected by a dear friend who lost a limb to an osteosarcoma and the passion of two remarkable clinician scientists, Drs. Hau Kwaan and David Green, who conducted pioneering investigations in hematology.
What’s the last book you read?
SR: I have read two masterpieces in the last month. First, The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which details the evolution of genetics research with rich storytelling and exquisite language. My other favorite is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown, a nonfiction work that relates the heroic efforts of the United States eight-man rowing team that won the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Germany.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
SR: My hobbies align with sports, including swimming, hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains, and attending any athletic event that has competitive opponents. I also like the full array of arts, but in private moments, I write poetry as a release and fulfilling form of expression.
Do you have a personal motto?
SR: My personal motto is summed up in two quotes: “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life,” by Federico Fellini, and, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced,” by Søren Kierkegaard.
What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t an oncologist?
SR: Alternative occupations have evolved over the years. At this point in my life, I fantasize about owning a cabaret with delicious food or working as a tour guide anywhere in Europe.
What changes do you envision for the field in the next 10 years?
SR: The astounding advances in cancer care and prevention will continue to be driven by an enhanced understanding of cancer and its environment. The major themes will include genomics, immunology, enhanced technology, and the fundamentals of nutrition and exercise.
What would you say to a young physician thinking about entering the field of oncology?
SR: There is no field in medicine or life that is more rewarding. Work hard, devote yourself to making a contribution, and maintain the empathy that is needed to help others deal with the pain and suffering that is tied to illness.