Henry T. Lynch, MD received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Denver University, and was nearing completion of a Ph.D. in human genetics at the University of Texas At Austin, when he entered medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, from which he received his M.D. degree in 1960.
He completed several post-degree medical training programs (Internal Medicine Oncology) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and was on the faculty of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston before coming to Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska in 1967. Since that time, he has been Chairman of Preventive Medicine at Creighton University, advancing to full professor in 1972.
He also is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology. He is the holder of the Creighton University Charles F. and Mary C. Heider Chair in Cancer Research.
During the 1960s, when cancer was considered an almost solely environmentally-caused disease, Dr. Lynch demonstrated Mendelian inheritance patterns for a previously unrecognized form of colon cancer (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, now known as Lynch Syndrome). His discovery of the hereditary breast ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome and the multiple families, including their DNA, was a contributory force leading to colleagues’ discovery of BRCA1 and BRCA2.
In addition, he provided some of the first findings of hereditary malignant melanoma and of familial aspects of prostate, pancreatic and hematologic cancers. The purpose of his work has been to enable physicians to more quickly and accurately identify high-risk patients, leading to earlier and more effective surveillance, management and treatment.
During the past 40 years, he has published more than 850+ peer-reviewed papers and edited more than a dozen books related to the diagnosis, prevention, counseling and treatment of hereditary disorders, primarily cancer. He serves on the editorial board of several medical journals and is an editor-in-chief of Familial Cancer. Dr. Lynch’s contributions to cancer research have been recognized by many awards from such groups as the American Cancer Society, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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