NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NCI Alumnus Caban Mourned

Dr. Carlos Caban
Dr. Carlos Caban at his retirement party in 2008

Dr. Carlos E. Caban, 75, passed away on May 1 from stage 4 prostate cancer. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he grew up in San Antonio, Tex., the suburbs of Long Island, N.Y., and Philadelphia. He and his family moved to Maryland in fall 1970. 

Caban graduated from Colgate University in 1963, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1971, and earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 1990. He had retired from NIH in 2008 after 38 years of service. 

He began his NIH career as a research scientist, moved to the National Cancer Institute as a review administrator, became a program director for Cancer Control Research (now DCCPS) and served as a program policy officer in the Office of Extramural Research. He was a major contributor to NIH publications and guidelines regarding the inclusion of women, minorities and children in clinical research, served a term as president of the NIH Hispanic Employees Organization and received many awards for his contributions to NIH. 

Outside of NIH, he served 9 years as a planning commissioner for the City of Rockville in the early 1980s. In the 1970s, he was active in the Rockshire Civic Association. In recent years, he volunteered as an usher at Strathmore. 

He loved tennis and was a member of the United States Tennis Association. He played regularly at various facilities, clubs and leagues throughout the Washington metro area. He was a frequent volunteer at Rock Creek Tennis Center tournaments, periodically attended the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and completed a “bucket list” goal of traveling to Wimbledon in England in 2015 with his son Jonathan. 

Caban is survived by his wife of 52 years, Elinor; his two sons, David Charles Caban of Cleveland and Jonathan Louis Caban of Washington, D.C.; and extended family.

Memorial donations may be made to Hope Connections for Cancer, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814.  

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