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Year 2017 is becoming a dawn of new era for two nations in the Pacific Rim, South Korea and the U.S. What nearly happened with President Richard Nixon in the U.S. history has finally happened in South Korea as President Park Geun-hye was impeached on March 2017. The country slipped into a political whirlwind building up to a presidential election in May. The upcoming election in Korea may signal a new path in government-industry relations, as well as physician-medical industry relations, with ever more enhanced transparency and scrutiny. In the U.S., Trump tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but it did not happen as there was no viable replacement plan, but just rhetoric and ideology. There will be continued evolution of healthcare in both countries and hopefully it will be a positive change.

In this issue, we feature a very distinguished Korean American Physician Larry Kwak, MD, PhD, a leading oncologist named as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in 2010. We remember an incident where Dr. Kwak was a keynote speaker in the Korean American Medical Association Hawaii meeting in 2014, when two hurricanes disrupted his travel. Despite the harsh circumstances, he still made it to the meeting and showed his perseverance and dedication which he emphasized in the interview. Dr. Kwak has done and continues to push the envelope in translational tumor research and has worked its way to actual treatments. He has worked at National Cancer Institute, then moved to the MD Anderson Cancer Center where he met his mentor, Dr.Waun Ki Hong, who was featured in the last issue of WKMJ, and he was recently recruited to the City of Hope in Los Angeles. He is truly a medical celebrity in city of Los Angeles and I was proud to see his picture on the billboards of LA. He was also selected for the highest honor in Korean Medicine with the Ho-Am Prize. Despite his many successes and achievements, he is a very humble and dedicated family man. He has many scientific publications but also contributed to society with a book on raising children with his wife Ruth. Immunology is a topic that is very complex and difficult but he makes it simple for everyone to understand and it is truly one of his many gifted skills. Dr. Kwak’s scientific contributions are pivotal in the War on Cancer and he has won battles with the translational research in immuno-oncology with cancer vaccine.

The entrepreneur interview is with Mario Pennisi of Life Science Queensland (LSQ) of Australia. Despite the fact that the country is isolated and does not have a large population compared to its size, Australia has the world’s 13th largest economy and has a role and influence in international affairs including medicine. Australia also is an advanced medical country which has much to offer in life sciences activities in both research and commercial opportunities. LSQ CEO Pennisi has a global view of Life Science and wants to leverage the opportunities in Australia with the rest of the world. Surely there are unique opportunities and challenges but also innovation and novelty from a continent country.

The world is changing with great advances, such as Watson computer entering medicine and coming of self-driving cars, but there are geo-political instabilities, and old and new challenges. However, we must go on and hope for the better during these challenging times and we must remember two of the most important attributes in medicine, patience and hope, and also take action when you can.

David Y. Ko, MD


President of WKMO

Keck School of Medicine of USC


Weekly meeting held every Monday has been a core part of our company culture since day one. While the meeting agenda has shifted as time passed by, the goal of providing everyone to discuss, connect and learn remains the same. Inspiring words and optimistic view points from greatest thinkers of all time are often shared in our weekly meeting to discuss upon: “Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just (Victor Hugo)”, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)”, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious (Albert Einstein)”.

Interviewing with Dr. Larry Kwak gave me similar experience as reading quotes from the great minds; encourage to achieve goals, share affection and motivation to endure hard work. In the 13th edition of WKMJ, we have interviewed a physician leader in therapeutic world, who had been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010, Dr. Larry Kwak.

Dr. Kwak, the key leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem cell Transplantation Institute, shared his great professional and family stories with us, and revealed his precious ideas of how to be successful. As he put it, “we all have a universal calling; namely, to enhance the welfare of others”. Dr. Larry Kwak’s story brought warmth to me like a soft spring breeze.

For the Entrepreneur Interview, we featured Mr. Mario Pennisi CEO of LSQ, Life Science Queensland, an organization which plays a role as the gateway for life science companies located in Queensland, Australia. Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ) is an active Australian industry group that was established to assist those entities that use R & D across the Life Sciences as part of their business endeavors. I have long history of personal and professional relationship with Mario over decades. I always enjoyed his expertise, insights, great personality, and friendship. I am glad to share his story with our readers.

Addition to these two major articles, we have rich selection of articles which will bring amusement of reading to our readers.

DoHyun Cho, PhD

Editor in Chief

President & CEO of W Medical Strategy Group

Chairman of New York Health Forum

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