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Alumni Profile

Nancy Halnon, MD

Assistant Professor
UCLA Medical Center
Sarnoff Fellow Years: 1993-1994

What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?
It allowed me to do research in a different scientific field than I had conducted previously. I met so many people with whom, even now, I continue to communicate and collaborate. More than just the lab experience, it bonded me to a huge group of colleagues. The world became much smaller. I made friends and non-competitive associates whom I continue to call upon. Once you are a Sarnoff Fellow, you are forever connected. The commonality is more than just the fact that we all had the year of research. The common thread is the fact that we had the desire to have this experience.

How did the relationship with your Preceptor shape your career?
I learned a lot about research in the lab during my Sarnoff Fellowship year. There are certain characteristics that apply no matter what your specialty is. My Sarnoff year gave me a different perspective; it gave me more depth that I would not have had otherwise.

Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship apart from other programs?
I feel that there is more continuity after the Fellowship year with the Sarnoff Foundation than with other programs. There are more opportunities to meet up again. Where else can your expenses be paid to go to an annual meeting? And there are always other Alumni you can learn from. There are others in my peer group who are a few steps ahead of me who are also good sources of information.

What are your professional aspirations?
I continue to try to keep a balance of being a teacher, a clinician, and a researcher. Maintaining this is my goal. So far I feel that I can have my cake and eat it too!

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
The big hurdle in my profession is getting a good grant. Many of the people whom I met through my association with the Sarnoff Foundation were quite helpful with advice in writing my grant. The people in my own institution are a great support, but it is wonderful having an outside perspective also.

What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?
Some of my favorite memories are having dinner at Lolo Sarnoff's house, playing Mini-golf at an Annual Meeting, and enjoying watching some of the members of the Scientific Committee sing karaoke.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy working around the house and gardening. I love vacations, especially those to Hawaii, Costa Rica and other beach locations.

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