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Remembering SEBM President David Boothman

It is with great sadness that we learned of the sudden and unexpected death of our SEBM President, David Boothman.  David had a very distinguished academic career which culminated as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Professor of Hematology-Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and completed his B.S at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Miami Medical School for his graduate work in microbiology and Immunology. His postdoctoral work was carried out at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur B. Pardee, a pioneer in the study of cell cycle regulation. During this time, David was amongst the first to clone transcripts of proteins that are induced following ionizing radiation. He also initiated his studies on β-lapachone, a quinone-containing compound that has strong radiosensitizing activity with potential as an anti-cancer therapeutic. He has continued to pursue β-lapachone as an anti-cancer therapeutic throughout his career, and helped guide this drug to clinical trials.

Following his postdoctoral work, Dr. Boothman returned to the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor and subsequently joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he become Vice Chairman of Radiation Oncology and Division Head of Molecular Radiation Oncology.


For seven years he was an Endowed Professor at Case Western University where he also assumed the Associate Directorship for Basic Science at the Cancer Center’s Wolstein Research Building. His research and career then took him to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to found their Cell Stress and Cancer Nanomedicine Program. In 2017 he moved to the Indiana University School of Medicine as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Chair in Cancer Biology andthe Associate Director of Translational Research in the Simon Cancer Center. Over his distinguished academic career, David trained more than 50 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents who are successful scientists and physicians in many countries in the world.

The SEBM and the scientific community have lost a valuable colleague, a friend and a wonderful scientist. He had served the scientific community in multiple capacities and regrettably his term as President of SEBM was truncated by his unfortunate and untimely death. As details become known to the SEBM leadership, we will communicate them to the membership. We also wish to ensure the membership that for the interim of Dr. Boothman’s term as SEBM President, his Presidential responsibilities will be carried out jointly by President Elect, Dr. Tom Thompson and by Dr. Peter Stambrook, the immediate Past President, both of whom are committed to the continued success and vitality of the Society.

Peter Stambrook
SEBM Past-President