Professor Agustín Ríos, one of the founders and most distinguished members of the Spanish Association of Haematology
and Haemotherapy (AEHH)), passed away in Salamanca (Spain) on February 8, after a prolonged illness. Professor Ríos
completing his studies in Medicine at the Universities of Salamanca, and joined the University of Salamanca and
its University Hospital. Noteworthy from this early stage of his professional career is his contribution to the
cytomorphology and Cytogenetics. In fact, he was the pioneer of the cytogenetics in Spain, and created the Institute of
Clinical Genetics at Salamanca'School of Medicine.
He was one of the most prolific mentors in Hematology in Spain, covering both fields: Cytogenetics and Morphology. His continuous lessons included his permanent sense of humour, serene joy, increased interest in human beings and teaching young people. Professor Ríos was also a clinician and a priest. And he translated all his experience to teaching and to the patient management.
Thank you Professor Ríos for conveying to so many people this impassioned form of understanding haematology.
Dr. Jesus M Hernandez M
With deep regrets we inform you that Dr. Herman Van Den Berghe passed away on the 23rd of January 2017.
Paola Dal Cin
Professor of Pathology, Cytogeneticist
Brigham and Women' Hospital
Department of Pathology, CAMD
Tel: (857) 307-1524 (voice mail)
Fax: (857) 307-1522 CAMD office: (857) 307-1500
CAMD Center Mail Box: BWHGeneticsLabs@partners.org
It is a sad day for the Cytogenetics and Oncology communities. Peter Nowell passed away Monday 12/26/16 from complications from an infection. Dr. Nowell looked at chromosomes in patients with CML, along with his graduate student David Hungerford, and identified a small chromosome, the Philadelphia chromosome, the first evidence of cancer as a genetic disease. Although he was best known for the discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome he continued to contribute to the field of cytogenetics (PHA stimulation) and cancer evolution.
His legacy is not only that he identified the Philadelphia chromosome, but began the paradigm for targeted therapies for oncogene addicted cancers. Peter's studies allowed continued development of studies understanding the chromosomal basis of CML (Janet Rowley), identification of the breakpoints on chromosomes 9 and 22 and showing the fusion of ABL1 and BCR (Nora Heisterkamp and John Groffen), and the identification of the pathogenic role of BCR-ABL1 as a tyrosine kinase (Owen Witte). These discoveries empowered the idea of the genetic-therapeutic paradigm (William Sellers), with the creation of tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the BCR-ABL1 oncogene (Nicholas Lydon), cell culture assays to demonstrate decrease in disease burden in BCR-ABL1 cells treated with various inhibitors (John Goldman) and clinical trials in CML patients with imatinib (Brian Druker and Charles Sawyers) which led the way for the first (and best) personalized medicine today.
Peter was an amazing person who cared deeply for his family and colleagues. He was the father of cancer cytogenetics and was the director of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Cytogenetics laboratory until his retirement in 2010. Peter embodies the model where "Standing on the shoulders of giants" has led to great discoveries and saved many lives. Very few of us will have such a great impact on improving the human condition and did much for the world.
Jennifer J.D. Morrissette, Ph.D., FACMG
Scientific Director, Clinical Cancer Cytogenetics
Clinical Director, Center for Personalized Diagnostics
Division of Precision and Computational Diagnostics
Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania
3020 Market Streeta
Philadelphia, PA 19104