Steve wanted to be a Marine Biologist. He was very close to completing his degree when he decided to move into Experimental Psychology. While working on his master’s degree, he married. Needing to find steady work he found a position as a researcher with Dr. Robert Nagourney.
What was intended to be a one-year stint until he completed his Master’s and entered the PhD program, has turned into more than 25 years of doing cancer research. Steve does not regret his detour.
Steve has personally overseen the establishment and operation of cancer research laboratories for Oncotech, Inc., the UC Irvine/Long Beach Memorial Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Experimental Therapeutics and Rational Therapeutics’ current operation, which began in 1993.
At Rational Therapeutics, Steve oversees the day-to-day operations of the laboratory, including personnel and data analyses. He has co-authored five manuscripts, 34 research abstracts and has presented research findings at the annual meetings of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Fighting the cancer battle has recently become a personal one for Steve—his sister was diagnosed with colon cancer. While the assay of her tumor sample clearly showed that a specific drug would have a positive impact at killing her cancer, she has been unable to find an oncologist in her state willing to administer the recommended drugs.
“I just want to see cancer patients take charge of their own cancer care—become active advocates. People shouldn’t be guinea pigs in clinical trials, when the option exists for just a tumor to be the guinea pig.”
As precise as Steve’s work is in the lab, he cuts loose on his own time. He is a very involved dad, coaching his kids sports teams—from Little League, AYSO, to roller hockey and as a Boy Scout leader. His volunteerism extends to his involvement with a local non-profit group, the Vanguard Cancer Foundation. And he's also known to be a softy for any stray cats or dogs that cross his path.
Steve cares about his work and the patients whose lives are at stake. "I wouldn’t have spent the last 20 plus years doing what I do, if it didn’t work. This is the best way [to beat cancer]."