Humans of LMP: Ju-Yoon Yoon
Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology community and find out more about them as part of an initiative from our Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (WIDE).
This month we feature Assistant Professor and Pathologist Dr. Ju-Yoon Yoon.
Visit the Humans of LMP page to read more stories and nominate yourself or others to be featured.
How long have you been at LMP and what does your role involve?
I completed my Anatomical Pathology Residency here, then returned as faculty after completing fellowships in the US. Not counting my residency, this would be my 2nd year, working as a Staff Pathologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, where I serve as a surgical and molecular pathologist.
What led you to pursue your current career path?
I pursued the combined MD/PhD training route (U. of Manitoba), which gave me an extra few years to think about residency choices - it really is the worst way to “procrastinate” and put off that life-changing choice.
Ultimately, through my PhD work, mentorship received, and some “chance” encounters, I decided to pursue a career as a pathologist.
My interest in gynaecological tumours and cancer biology lead to my pursuing two fellowships - GYN pathology and molecular genetic pathology.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I am hoping that my current project will be that—a completely custom next generation sequencing (NGS) panel assay for cancer profiling.
What was the best career advice you ever received?
On several occasions, I was told to pursue what I want to do. It sounded naïve and rather strange, but I think it is a good advice in hindsight.
What has been an important learning experience in your life?
All the failures during my graduate studies and beyond - you can’t have success without failures. Lots of failures!
Who is an influential person in your life and why?
My uncle. Pathology would have not been on my radar in the first place, if it were not for my uncle, who is a Pathologist in Korea.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Apparently nothing - what you see is what you get!
What activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
I’m sure I once had some at one point… Now my non-work life is completely over taken by my young family, and those points are a big blur…
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
I was separated from my family during the pandemic while I was pursuing my fellowships - my own family would have been definitely “dream” dinner guests.
Where/what is your favourite place?
“The zone” - where some bits of knowledge just seem to fall into place, and something new just makes sense.
If you were stuck on a deserted island but had all your basic needs taken care of (i.e. food and water), what two items would you bring with you and why?
Whatever counts as two best tools for building a boat… I’d definitely be trying to get back to my family and to the lab!