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Dr. Donald Gleason - U Prof and Prostate Cancer Pioneer - Has Died

Emma Carew writes a nice profile of the late Donald Gleason. Dr.Gleason is not a relative but in my early days at the U, after he had retired, I used to get phone calls about once a week from people wanting to speak to "Dr. Gleason."

From Emma's interesting aricle:

In medicine, technological advances and breakthroughs happen at lightning-paced speeds. But in the realm of prostate cancer, one major development, the Gleason grading system for tumors, has stood the test of time. The man who developed the grading scale in 1966, Dr. Donald Gleason, died of heart failure on Dec. 28.

Gleason, a former professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School, was 88 years old.

His work is described by former colleague Akhouri Sinha, an associate professor of genetics and cell biology, as “the gold standard� in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Gleason developed the grading system while working at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, where Sinha first met him in the early 1970s.

Gleason grew up in Litchfield, Minn. during the Great Depression, his daughter Ginger Venable, 46, of Eden Prairie, said.

Gleason started school at the University of Minnesota in 1938, working his way through college as a waiter.

Two months before the end of World War II, Gleason enlisted in the army to pay for medical school. He was later recalled during the Korean War. Unable to find a job after the war, Gleason and his wife Nancy spent six months in Paris, where he studied language and art. Venable said she and her sisters each own one of their father’s paintings.

Gleason was a frugal, modest man, Venable said, but his one indulgence was sailing on Lake Minnetonka.

Venable said the family will remember Gleason as a renaissance man, interested in cooking, medicine, languages and learning.

“He was always learning new things, and kind of instilled that in his children and nine grandchildren.�

Dr.Gleason's obituary has appeared widely in the national press. But I like Emma's story best. Bill Gleason

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