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Nghiem Lab Welcomes Clinical Research Fellow Ariel Finberg

UW Dermatology is excited to welcome Ariel Finberg, MD, to the laboratory of Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD as a Clinical Research Fellow. Dr. Finberg officially joined the Nghiem Lab on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Paul Nghiem, Head of the UW Division of Dermatology, is Principal Investigator for the Nghiem Lab, located at the UW Medicine Biotech & Medical Research Hub in Seattle’s South Lake Union (SLU) neighborhood. One of three research labs in the division, the Nghiem Lab Research Team studies the biology of skin cancer with a special focus on Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but lethal skin cancer.

Welcome to UW Dermatology Ariel!


Ariel Finberg, MD

Pronouns: he/him/his
Hometown: Kula, Hawaii
Undergraduate: University of Hawaii – BS in Microbiology
Medical School: University of Virginia
Additional Training: Preliminary Medicine Year at Virginia Mason Medical Center

Research Experience: Research Fellow to Dr. Adrien Eshraghi; Led a project on preventing noise induced hearing loss in rats, Co-authored numerous publications regarding cochlear implantation, tinnitus and hearing loss.

Clinical & Research Interests: Cutaneous Oncology, Interactions between the immune system and malignancy

Why did you choose to pursue a fellowship with the Nghiem Lab?

With my background in Microbiology, I found the topic of oncogenic viruses to be fascinating. My roommate in medical school was an undergraduate in the Nghiem lab and he was the first to introduce me to Merkel cell carcinoma. During my time in medical school, I continued to learn about the disease and became more interested in the idea of setting aside time to pursue research in oncology. After matching in Seattle for my intern year, I was excited to be in the same city as Dr. Nghiem and applied for the fellowship.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Being from Hawaii, I have always loved spending time in the water doing activities such as going out on a stand-up paddle, free diving, cliff jumping, and body surfing. I also love hiking and have started to cycle more. I’m always excited to play tennis, soccer and most recently Spikeball. I love to cook and am always looking for inspiration. 

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