Thomas G. O’Brien, PhD

Thomas G. O’Brien, PhD, 70, passed away suddenly but peacefully, surrounded by family, on November. 14 in Pueblo, Colo. Dr. O’Brien was a professor emeritus and the former deputy director of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR). He retired from LIMR in 2011.

Dr. O’Brien was a world-renowned cancer biologist who first identified the role of polyamines in cancer development. Polyamines are ubiquitous nutrients that are essential for all cell growth and proliferation, but cancer cells have a particularly voracious appetite for them. In his work, Dr. O’Brien pioneered a molecular and genetic understanding of how polyamines drive cancer.

He also discovered disease modifier genes that determine why polyamines are so important in cancer. Lastly, building on his discoveries, he pioneered a new polyamine-targeting therapy suitable to treat nearly any form of cancer. He held multiple patents, including those on a genetically engineered mouse and a clinically significant human DNA sequence that can predict cancer susceptibility. Click here for the full obituary.

Irina Staples, MD

By Deb Gondek, DO, medical director, HMS, Campus Lead, BMH, Hospital Medicine Service, MLHC

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of one of our own, Irina Staples, MD.  Irina joined the Hospital Medicine Service team at Bryn Mawr in 2013 and moved to Paoli where she worked until June. She was a very compassionate physician who always put her patients first and was well respected by her colleagues. She enjoyed working with the medical students from PCOM and they appreciated her teaching style. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful person. She will be remembered for her positive attitude and strength.

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