American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2006

OBITUARY: HARRIS BUSCH (1923 - 2006)


October 5, 2006


Field(s) of Research: Carcinogenesis, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Research, Endocrinology, Epidemiology, Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics, Immunology, Prevention Research, Tumor Biology

PROMINENT CANCER RESEARCHER AND FORMER AACR PRESIDENT
(adapted from the Houston Chronicle )

Dr. Harris BuschHarris Busch, M.D., Ph.D -- a prominent cancer researcher and molecular biologist, and past president of the American Association for Cancer Research -- died September 22 of complications from pneumonia at Methodist Hospital in Houston. He was 83.

Dr. Busch, long-time chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Baylor College of Medicine, specialized in the research of gene control in cancer cells. He was a pioneer in the investigation of cancer cells and was the first to isolate and characterize the nucleus of a cancer cell. He joined the Baylor College of Medicine in 1960 and served for 40 years as its chairman of pharmacology.

Working with surgeon Michael E. DeBakey, Dr. Busch was instrumental in developing the college into an international force for medical scientific research. He helped secure its reputation as one of the top medical schools in the country. Along the way, he wrote over 1,000 scientific articles that appeared in scholarly journals and wrote or edited 30 books. Dr. Busch embodied the American Dream, achieving success after modest beginnings through education and hard work.

Aside from serving as AACR's president from 1989-90, Dr. Busch also was a member of AACR's Board of Directors and the association's public affairs committee. He joined AACR in 1953, attended virtually every Annual Meeting, supported the Annual Meeting Scholar & Training Awards for young investigators, and served as a mentor to many of those scholars.

Born in Chicago, Dr. Busch served in the U.S. Army while attending medical school at the University of Illinois and interned at Cook County Hospital. He joined the U.S. Public Health Service immediately after World War II. In 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Rose Klora, and for 61 years she was his partner in research and in life. Together they worked and traveled, raised four children and delighted in contradicting each other's stories. They brought their ever-expanding family together at least once a year until Dr. Busch became ill this summer.

In addition to Rose Busch and his children, Daniel Busch, M.D., Laura Smolkin, Ph.D., Gerald Busch, M.D., and Fredric Busch, M.D., Dr. Busch is survived by 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.