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Tribute to a leader

Masonic Cancer Center leaders unveiled a permanent tribute to the center’s founding director, John Kersey, M.D., in the new Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building on May 13. The display is prominently featured in the lobby of the building, which is open to the public—a rarity for research facilities.

Kersey, a native Minnesotan, had served on the University of Minnesota faculty since 1971. He stepped down as director of the Masonic Cancer Center in 2007 after 15 years in that role but remained a dedicated research scientist at the institution until his sudden death on March 10, 2013, at age 74.

The text on the commemorative glass panel is as follows:

John H. Kersey, M.D.

Cancer research pioneer, clinician, mentor, and friend

John Kersey, M.D., dedicated his life to the development of new treatments for cancer. Among many accomplishments, he performed the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant for lymphoma. He was the founding director of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, which became a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center under his leadership. Dr. Kersey was also the driving force that helped the University become internationally recognized for excellence in cancer treatment and research. From countless patients to innumerable doctors and scientists, Dr. Kersey enriched many lives through his compassion, leadership, and visionary thinking.

Make a gift to the John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research in his memory at

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