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Obituary David M. Livingston


Prof. David M. Livingston (© Michael Sazel / CeMM).

It is with great sadness that we learn of the decease of Prof. David M. Livingston, former Deputy Director, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, USA. David Livingston was the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of CeMM from its very beginning until 2018, and had a huge influence on the development and success of our institute. We lose an extraordinary scientist and highly esteemed advisor. His constructive criticism, encouraging words and his humor and good spirit will be dearly missed by the CeMM Directors and by the entire CeMM community. Our thoughts are with his wife Emily, his family, friends and collaborators.

David Livingston received an A.B. cum laude from Harvard College in 1961, an M.D., magna cum laude, from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1965. He was recruited to Dana-Farber (then the Childrens Cancer Research Foundation) in 1973. He was an internationally recognized expert on oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Through his research, David Livingston has uncovered detailed biochemical steps required to initiate and maintain the transformation of these cells into tumor cells. His focus was on the regulatory controls of signal transduction. In recent years, his work has centered on those key molecular steps that trigger the development of breast and ovarian cancer. In Spring 2021 he published a highly recognized paper on BRCA1 and RNAi factors promoting repair mediated by small RNAs and PALB2-RAD52 in Nature. David Livingston was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the AACR Academy.

David Livingston’s generosity has been a fundamental nutrient for CeMM all these years - appreciated for its essentiality in starting years and for its sophistication in adolescence. Be thanked, dear Dave! We owe you a lot and want you to know that no words and no deeds will ever be possible to express our gratitude in a worthy enough fashion.