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The Year of the Dragon: Fearless, passionate and devoted to a great cause

January 5, 2012

Welcome and Happy New Year everyone!  My name is Julian Lum, and I am a scientist and Co-Leader of the Radiation and Cancer Immunotherapy Team at the BC Cancer Agency Deeley Research Centre in the Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre. I have the great honour of being the first guest blogger of 2012. I am dually honoured by this because 2012 is the year of the dragon in the Chinese Horoscope, and I was born in the year of the Dragon.

I was born, raised and went to school in Ottawa. My initial training was in the area of immunology and understanding how HIV/AIDS causes the destruction of the immune system.  After graduation, I wanted to know whether I could really make it in this field, so I decided to go to the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), where they are known for their strong immunology program. I thought this experience would be a good test for me, and it turned out to be a milestone career decision. 

For the next five years, I was immersed in a lab focused on understanding how the immune system recognizes and eliminates cancer. My time at UPENN made me realize that I had found my true vocation in immunology research, and I spent every day thereafter pursuing this research with fearlessness, passion and devotion.