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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Kung gets grand send-off to new post in Taiwan

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February 14, 2013

In a fitting tribute to Emeritus Professor Hsing-Jien Kung, an impressive lineup of researchers who consider Kung their mentor presented their cancer research at a special symposium earlier this week. The three-hour event was followed with a farewell celebration in the new UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center lobby.

Kung farewell
Among those attending the tribute were, from left, Bonnie Lam, Kit Lam, Jenny Kung, Ralph deVere White, Hsing-Jien Kung and Tina Li.

Kung has taken on leadership of the National Institute of Cancer Research in Taiwan. He will maintain his research laboratory at UC Davis, and hopes to collaborate with UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center on various projects in the future.

Kung joined UC Davis in 1998 as the cancer center’s deputy director and chief of basic science. In 2008 he was appointed chair of the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment in basic research. The endowment has also provided funds for many younger researchers to explore “out-of-the-box” ideas that may be premature for major research grant funding. Attending the symposium and send-off event Monday was Virgil Traynor, a former cancer center patient and a founding member of the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund, a grassroots philanthropy that continues to support the cancer center.

Among the symposium speakers were Ralph deVere White, Kermit Carraway, Colleen Sweeney, Chris Evans, Xinbin Chen, Hongwu Chen, Yoshihiro Izumiya, Paul Luciw and Kit Lam. Their talks spanned the gamut from breast to prostate cancer and included numerous findings in biochemistry that have helped in the translation of laboratory science to clinical applications for cancer patients.

Kung was lauded for his diligence and impeccable record as a cancer researcher, his steady mentorship of clinicians and other scientists, and his impressive travel schedule that kept him traveling across the country and around the globe to share his knowledge and experience.

“Hsing-Jien is special not just in his ability to do science — a lot of people can do science,” said deVere White, cancer center director. “It’s his ability to bring everyone else along that is truly exceptional.”