In Remembrance: Howard Ozer ’69, ’75PhD, ’75MD Died on April 6 2018

Dr. Howard Ozer died on April 6, 2018, at the age of 71.  He was a former cancer researcher, a clinician, and a professor, and led the University of Illinois Cancer Center for two years.

The University of Illinois posted a tribute on their web page.

2 remembrances

  • Neil Blumberg MD (TD 1970, MD 1975)
    Neil Blumberg MD (TD 1970, MD 1975), 9:53pm October 13 2018 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I only rarely saw Howie at American Society of Hematology meetings after 1975, but thought it interesting that he, R. Michael Williams (also 1969) and I all wound up in a lifetime deeply involved in the care of patients with blood cancers, and research into improving our understanding and treatment of these terrible diseases. Howie was a good friend and mentor to me during the last two years of college, through his experience in science and the intricacies of applying to graduate and medical schools. I have a photo of both us in cap and gown at our 1975 graduation. He had taken six years to get his MD/PhD, and I had managed to spend five years getting only my MD :). Howie always had a clear idea of where he was going, and I wasn't nearly as focused. I was a bit roubled by the obituaries not mentioning his survivors, but I know he had been married and had children. My sympathies and best wishes to them, wherever they are, and to Howie's other friends. I am grateful for Howie's friendship during our TD undergraduate years and our Yale Medical and Graduate School years. I am sad that he is no longer among us, and that he did not have more years.

  • RMichael Williams BA (TD 1968), MS 1970
    RMichael Williams BA (TD 1968), MS 1970, 3:54am March 24 2019 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    While preparing a presentation for ASCO 2019 and looking forward to seeing Howard again, the Yale Alumni Magazine came. Looks like we'll have to catch up later...much later I hope. We were last together at an ASCO meeting many years ago. At Yale we were nearly roommates. When I discovered that he had taken a job studying marine life in the Biology department, I encouraged him to come to where I had my freshman job, Byron H. Waksman's laboratory. Howard went on to get a PhD there where he studied the rabbit appendix. At that time Byron thought it might be the mammalian equivalent of the Bursa of Fabricious, the place where B-cells go to learn what antibody specificities (idiotypes) to make. The thymus gland is where the T-cells go for the same reason. Waksman was the discoverer of the role of the thymus.

    We stayed close friends by phone, but our paths did not cross again until he came to do his residency at the MGH. I was doing mine at the Brigham. He did come from New Haven to Boston to be my best man. The favor was returned the following year. We knew each others girlfriends while at Yale. Together we edited the Yale Scientific Magazine and organized the Eastern Colleges Science competition where we doubled dated with two lovely and smart Vassar ladies. We almost married them. We traveled together to immunology meetings, when they were still held in Atlantic City. Then he and I both ended up on the same floor of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He went off to Buffalo at Roswell Park. then to UNC in Raleigh Durham, then to Emory, then to Oklahoma City, then Hahneman, then University of Illinois in Chicago.

    He had a lovely lawyer wife whose specialty was "date rape". But this was the late 70's long before Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too movement. I wonder how Howard would have responded to the Kavanaugh debacle? We both would have related. His son Benjamin and daughter should fill you in on mom. All I can say is that Howard later married someone whom he met at an oncologists office whose practice Howard was evaluating. A striking woman for sure!

    Howard's clinical specialty was hematology, particularly leukemia, and he made his mark on the field with colony stimulating factor, something needed when you give high doses of chemotherapy. The last time we were together was in Ithaca New York when he came to give a talk and go goose hunting. He's probably telling Clarence all about it.

    Farewell my friend, enjoy the eternal flight.

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