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Vol. LVII, No. 17
August 26, 2005

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NCI's Kashmiri Is Mourned

Dr. Syed V.S. Kashmiri  
Dr. Syed V.S. Kashmiri, 68, of NCI's Center for Cancer Research, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, passed away on July 19, after a long battle with cancer. He will be remembered for his intellect, seminal and highly innovative contributions to the field of genetic engineering of immunoglobulin molecules and for his extreme kindness.

Kashmiri received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Lucknow University in India and his Ph.D. from Duke University. Prior to coming to NIH, he worked at the Rockefeller University, Johns Hopkins University and was an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He became a member of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at NCI in 1987.

As head of the molecular biology group, Kashmiri worked on the development of genetically engineered immunological reagents for the diagnosis and therapy of human tumors and searched for target genes for human cancer vaccines using bioinformatic tools. He developed a world-renowned reputation for his ability to modify immunoglobulin genes to render them more applicable and effective in targeting human tumors. He received numerous patents for these innovative studies, and published more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts during his career. He received many awards, including several NIH Merit Awards and Technology Transfer Awards.

Kashmiri was generous in offering the training facilities of his laboratory to students and young investigators. He had the uncommon ability to transmit his love and passion for science and research to his young trainees. Many of his former student-trainees went on to pursue higher studies at medical and graduate schools, and retained enduring ties to his laboratory. Citing his mentorship of new investigators, the NIH Asian/Pacific American Organization gave him its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001.

Beyond his role as a scientist, Kashmiri enthusiastically participated in many gatherings of artists, writers, poets and scholars in the greater Washington area. He was a well-recognized poet in his native language, Urdu, and occasionally hosted literary get-togethers in his own house.

He is survived by his wife, Rafia Kashmiri, and a son, Tabish Kazmi, a medical student. He will be very much missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

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