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Matthew Suffness 1942-1995.
Matthew Suffness, a manager of cancer therapies research at the National Cancer Institute, died of pneumonia June 14 at Holy Cross Hospital, Washington, D.C.

He received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Howard University and a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He went to work for the NCI in 1976 as head of the plant and animal products section. In 1981 he became chief of the natural products branch and in 1989 became natural products grants program coordinator. In addition to editing and contributing to the 1995 textbook, Taxol, Science and Applications, he was the author of more than 60 articles on the discovery and development of cancer drugs.

Dr. Suffness was a past president of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Society of Economic Botany.

"Matthew Suffness played a major role in the evolution of the National Cancer Institute natural products program as we know it today, and particularly in the development of drugs such as taxol. I feel that the appearance of the CRC book, Taxol, Science and Applications, just before his death is a testimony to his dedication to the discovery of more effective treatments for cancer. It is sad that complications from a treatment for cancer was to bring about his untimely death at a stage in his life when many feel that he was at the height of his productivity." -- Gordon Cragg, Chief, Natural Products Branch, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Suffness's wife, Rita, and his family suggest that contributions to the Young Investigator's Symposium at the annual conference of the American Society of Pharmacognosy would be a most appropriate and worthy tribute to his life and work. Tax-deductible contributions, with the stipulation that the money is to be placed, in his name, in a memorial fund for the Young Investigator's Symposium, should be sent to Robert J. Krueger, Ph.D., Treasurer, ASP Foundation, College of Pharmacy, 901 S. State Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307. 616/592-2236.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.


By Barbara Johnston