UMN mourns loss of Lee Wattenberg, M.D., recognized as the “father of chemoprevention”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota are mourning the loss of cancer pioneer Lee Wattenberg, M.D. Wattenberg died December 9 at the age of 92, and will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of chemoprevention.

Wattenberg is credited with the creation of an entire field of research in the wake of his landmark 1966 paper in Cancer Research examining the effects of certain compounds on cancer development.  This led to a new emphasis on understanding cancer prevention, including the use of foods such as cabbage and broccoli to try to prevent cancer.

“Lee was a true pioneer in cancer chemoprevention,” said Brooks Jackson, MD, dean of the Medical School and vice president of Health Sciences for the University of Minnesota. “His contributions to the field were innovative and his work continues to provide a foundation for research that is going on to this day.”

Wattenberg received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York in 1941 and went on to the University of Minnesota Medical School. Following graduation, he joined the faculty and served for more than 60 years, most recently in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Wattenberg also served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) from 1992-1993, as well as two stints on the organization’s board of directors. He was given the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Prevention Research in 2010.

Services for Wattenberg are scheduled for Friday, December 12, 2014 at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, beginning at 11:00 am.

Read more:

Obituary for Lee Wattenberg, M.D.

Memorial by ACCR for Lee Wattenberg, M.D.