In Memoriam – Gregory A. Curt, MD

On July 31, 2016, the lung cancer and oncology research community lost a respected researcher and leader, Gregory Curt, MD, who died at the US Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for cancer at age 64. After graduating summa cum laude from Providence College in 1974, and from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, with distinction in research, in 1977, Dr. Curt completed his training at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston and, in 1980, began his oncology fellowship at the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) where he was later appointed Clinical Director (1989-2002). While NCI Clinical Director, Greg led the intramural program at NCI in translational research involving new therapeutic modalities including anti-cancer drugs, vaccines, and immunotoxins. Achieving the rank of Captain in the United States Public Health Service (PHS), Dr. Curt was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1992. In 2002, Dr. Curt continued his dedication to cancer drug development as Senior Director and Alliance Manager at AstraZeneca Oncology, where he was responsible for AstraZeneca’s new partnerships with NCI in cancer prevention and treatment using novel drug combinations. Dr. Curt was the US Medical Science Lead for Strategic Alliances, Physician Lead for the US Oncology Phase 1 Team, and US Group Director for late-stage drug strategy in Global Medicines Development. He also served as Executive Director for External Relations in US Medical Affairs.

Greg Curt, MD was a fabulous investigator, administrator, and individual. As Clinical Director of the NCI, his studies focused on the pharmacology of methotrexate and 5-azacytidine. During his later career at AstraZeneca, he was involved in early clinical development of their compounds and in their global alliances. The cancer community will miss his enthusiasm for novel therapies. —Paul A. Bunn, Jr, MD, FASCO