Jonathan Lim

Young Oncologists Committee member

Address The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

United Kingdom


We have asked Dr Lim to tell us a bit more about himself and his involvement in the ESMO Young Oncologist Committee especially to get his tips on developing a productive career in medical oncology.

Tell us a bit about your career so far

I am originally from Brunei Darussalam, a tiny country tucked in the corner of the Borneo island in Southeast Asia. After my pre-clinical studies back home, I moved to England to complete my medical school at St George’s University of London and then started my career in Brighton as an academic foundation trainee (internship). I then relocated to Manchester where I was appointed an academic clinical fellow and core medical trainee (residency), and I am currently a specialist registrar (fellowship) in Medical Oncology at The Christie.

Recently, I had the privilege of working with Prof Paul Lorigan and Prof Richard Marais in the Molecular Oncology Group at Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute on a translational project on precision medicine in melanoma as part of my MRes degree with the University of Manchester. This experience has inspired me to continue striving to juggle between maintaining my clinical practice and pursuing my scientific interests.

What is your current activity?

I am currently a third/penultimate year specialist registrar in Medical Oncology, rotating through various tumour sites at The Christie. I have a particular interest in immuno-oncology and I am currently working on my applications for a PhD clinical fellowship.

What motivates you?

Patients. I continue to learn from the unique story behind each patient’s journey; their resilience and determination to live, either for themselves or their loved ones, have never failed to touch me and constantly allow me to be passionate about my work every day.

Why did you choose to become a medical oncologist?

Medical oncology is a unique specialty where the rapid development in science and treatments is fascinating, and yet it remains an emotive specialty – one that constantly challenges me to strive towards being better at the art of communication and interpersonal skills. It is a truly multidisciplinary field where everyone focuses on delivering holistic and compassionate care for the patients. In my career so far, I have been fortunate to have worked with exemplary medical oncologists who continue to inspire me and are role models for me to do the best I can to help patients.

What does your involvement with ESMO and the Young Oncologists Committee (YOC) mean to you?

I am excited to be part of the YOC as it would be a brilliant opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues within Europe and beyond. I am determined to foster closer collaborations amongst UK medical oncologists/trainees, and also with other ESMO members. Hopefully, through ESMO, we can share more opportunities with aspiring young oncologists in order to advance their career and life ambitions.

Do you have some good advice you would like to share with your international colleagues?

Be curious and open-minded – learn from and help each other, in order to help our patients. Never let anyone undermine your ambition.