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.
|Dr. Syed V.S. Kashmiri
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.