Dr. Sangwoo Shawn Kim is a current PGY-4 resident. At Swarthmore College, he discovered a passion for science after working in a chemistry lab where his mentor, Professor Kathleen Howard, showed him how truly fun research can be. As a first-year medical student, he met his current research mentor, Dr. Andrew Sharabi, not knowing that radiation oncology was a specialty in it of itself (or that radiation was even used to treat cancer!). While working in his lab, Shawn became enraptured by the field of cancer immunology and committed to following in his mentor’s footsteps and become a radiation oncologist.
Shawn completed a research year during medical school studying mouse models of head and neck cancer and has continued his research throughout residency analyzing how radiation therapy can modulate the immune response, specifically focusing on B cells. He is also pursuing the Holman Research Pathway to dedicate additional time to his research. Outside of his research, Shawn has a strong interest in medical education and enjoys teaching his junior residents and rotating medical students.
Outside of work, Shawn enjoys cooking, eating, snorkeling, and gardening--his favorite being summer tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Prior to moving to San Diego, he lived in Seoul (South Korea), Gainesville (Florida), Swarthmore (Pennsylvania), Sacramento (California), and Chicago (Illinois), and can confidently say San Diego is the most pleasant of the bunch. He is happy to discuss the mental health benefit living in San Diego confers.