Issue #81

Andrea Napolitano

Il Nero

Hi, I was born in Battipaglia, close to Salerno, in 1987. When I turned 18, I decided to leave home to study Medicine and Surgery in Rome. 32 exams, several parties, and six years later I graduated and moved to the U.S. to start a Ph.D. in cancer biology.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I’m doing a Ph.D. in cancer biology at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, studying a rare cancer called malignant mesothelioma associated to exposure to asbestos fibers. For fun, I like reading, scuba diving, playing beach volleyball… and watching TV shows on Netflix!

What made you leave Italy and chose Honolulu?

I left Italy mostly because I wanted to be exposed to a multicultural environment. Moreover, cancer research is on average more advanced in the U.S. compared to Italy.

Please share your best memory in Honolulu.

My best memory in Honolulu is the first time I did scuba diving here! I was only few inches away from a beautiful honu (green sea turtle)!

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

My outfit? Randomly selected. As location, I chose a monument remembering the “Purple Heart Battalion”. This legendary battalion was a WWII combat unit formed primarily by Hawaiian Nisei (American-born Japaneses). They bravely fought several battles, also in Italy – in Naples, Monte Cassino and Rome! Through its actions, the Purple Heart Battalion promoted the acceptance of Japanese Americans as loyal citizens of the United States. When I first learnt this story, I was really impressed, and this is my way to show that we Italians haven’t forgotten the days Hawaiian men died for our freedom.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

We may live away, but our connections with Italy, our home, are so many and so strong, that having the opportunity through this project to show who we are and what we do is just great!

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

I am quite proud and passionate about Italy, therefore I really like a lot being an ambassador of Italian style and culture!

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  • Time

    120 mins

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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US