Professor Thomas Tursz (1946-2018)

Posted: Thursday, May 03, 2018


We are very sad to announce that our Vice-Chairman, Professor Thomas Tursz passed away on Friday, April 27th 2018 at the age of 71. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and he will be deeply missed.

Professor Thomas Tursz with Dr John Mendelsohn was the visionary founding member of WIN Consortium - Worldwide Innovative Network in personalized cancer medicine, which today brings over 40 institutions together in 20 countries promoting global diversity, cooperation and inclusion of all stakeholders to significantly improve cancer patient survival. He was also the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of one of our members, ARC Foundation for cancer research (France).

Professor Thomas Tursz was a brilliant and passionate doctor and scientist. He played a key role in the description of the oncogene role of the Epstein Barr virus and developed anti-tumor immunotherapy, gene therapy and precision oncology. Professor Thomas Tursz was a visionary spirit who profoundly impacted and influenced today’s oncology.

Born in Krakow, Poland in 1946, Professor Tursz was a widely recognised medical physician, oncologist and researcher with a distinguished career spanning over 46 years. He attained Full Professor of Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine Paris-Sud in 1986. He was General Director of the Institut Gustave-Roussy (IGR) for 16 years (1994-2010). Professor Emeritus of Oncology at the University of Paris-Sud/Paris XI since September 1st, 2011. He held multiple distinguished positions including President of the French Federation of Comprehensive Anticancer Centres (FNCLCC) now known as UNICANCER (2004-2010); Elected Member of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (since 2009); member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of several major European Cancer Centers.

His work has been awarded with several prestigious scientific prizes such as the Oncology Award "Prix de Cancérologie" from the French National League Against Cancer in 1979, the Bernard-Halpern Immunology Award in 1983, Cancerology Prize of the Academy of Sciences in 1988, the Rosen Oncology Award from the Medical Research Foundation in 1989 and the Grand Prix in Oncology from the Academy of Medicine in 1992, the Hamilton Fairley Award for Clinical Research from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) in 1998 and the French Radiation Award in 2001 and was Knighted in 2001 and Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2014.

An author of 350 international papers in peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature, PNAS, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet, Lancet Oncology and British Med Journal.

We have modified the program of the WIN Symposium 2018 to include a session dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of Professor Thomas Tursz. Please join us.