John Robert Murren, M.D. In Memoriam The AACR recognizes by lmv20934



John Robert Murren, M.D.: In Memoriam

The    AACR recognizes the untimely loss of one of its finest                                          Nevada Cancer Institute,
members, Dr. John Murren, who died December 28, 2005 of                                                founded by his brother,
metastatic melanoma at the age of 47. Dr. Murren was Associate                                         Jim, President and Chief
Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine where he                                          Financial Officer of MGM
served as Director of the Outpatient Center, Director of the                                           Mirage, and Jim’s wife,
Lung Cancer Clinic, and co-leader of the Experimental                                                  Heather. John served on
Therapeutics Program of the Yale Cancer Center. He is survived                                         the NVCI Board and was
by his wife, Nancy, and son, John.                                                                     an adjunct faculty member.
   Dr. Murren grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he                                              It was their vision to pro-
attended Roger Ludlowe High School. He earned a B.A. in                                                vide residents of Southern
Chemistry at Duke University cum laude and then attended                                               Nevada convenient access to
medical school at Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in                                                 state-of-the-art care and ac-
Chicago. He did his internship, residency, and chief residency                                         cess to clinical trials. John
in Internal Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York.                                            was instrumental in attract-
   Dr. Murren joined the Yale fellowship program in Medical                                            ing Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang
Oncology in 1988. He distinguished himself for his clinical                                            to the NVCI to serve as its
skills, compassion, and curiosity. He entered the laboratory        founding director and Dr. Guiseppe Pizzorno as Associate
in 1989, where he developed a lifelong interest in cancer           Director of Translational Research.
pharmacology. He began by analyzing the curious relation-              John was recognized nationally and internationally for his
ship between neoadjuvant treatment of lung cancer and               work. He served on the Clinical Translational Research
response rate, research that was notable for its probing            Committee of the American Association for Cancer Research
questions and analytic approach to evaluating the existing          and the American College of Surgeons Cancer Committee. He
literature. He concluded that neoadjuvant treatment of non –        also served on the Clinical Research Subcommittee of the
small cell lung cancer was promising, but that no rigorous          Program Committee for the American Association for Cancer
study existed to prove the concept. Soon thereafter, several        Research National Meeting in 2001. He was a member of the
groups took up the gauntlet and conducted the experiments           Research Grants Council in Hong Kong.
that John had recognized were lacking.                                 John was the consummate academic medical oncologist. In
   He then asked why we failed to cure cancers despite a modern     addition to providing unsurpassed care and leading an active
understanding of drug resistance mechanisms. That work led to       laboratory, he was an outstanding teacher and role model
several articles and editorials on multidrug resistance modu-       for the many fellows he mentored. John’s patients benefited
lators. His interest in atypical multidrug resistance mediated      from his warmth, compassion, and genuine joy at seeing
through topoisomerases I and II led him to develop some of the      them.
earliest trials using camptothecins in small cell lung cancer. He      John was perhaps best known around Yale for his radiant
worked with Yale’s Nuclear Medicine group to develop a novel        smile, quick wit, and kindness. It would be difficult to find
treatment for neuroendocrine tumors with radiolabeled somato-       anyone who disliked him. To those who worked closely with
statin analogues. Since 1992, he received continuous NIH            John in the Yale Medical Oncology Section, he will be
funding to study new therapies in lung cancer.                      remembered as an astute clinician and a creative scientist,
   In addition to his major responsibilities at Yale, John was      but most of all, as a kind, gentle man, devoted to his patients,
the driving force behind the development of the nonprofit           family, and many friends.

  F 2006 American Association for Cancer Research.
  doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-0313                                            2647                  Clin Cancer Res 2006;12(8) April 15, 2006

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