Frank Chuan Kuo, MD PhD: In Memoriam (1959-2018)
On August 7, 2018, the pathology community lost Dr Frank Kuo, a talented hematopathologist and molecular hematopathologist and a wonderful human being. Frank was a dedicated member of the Society of Hematopathology and was instrumental in building the online presence of both the Society and the European Association for Haematopathology.
Frank completed his medical training at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan and his PhD in Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University in New York City. He and I were residents together and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and we both did our hematopathology fellowship there under the mentorship of Dr. Geraldine Pinkus. Following residency, Frank served as a staff pathologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital from 1995 through 2017. There, Frank became a foundational pillar of the molecular pathology and hematopathology services, while also serving as the main pathology informatician. He was approachable, patient, and humble, had an amazing intellect, and simply got more done on a day-to-day basis than seemed humanly possible. Frank brought original, deeply insightful ideas to all areas he touched. Among his many accomplishments, he initiated the first capillary sequencing assays, the first real time PCR assays, and the first amplicon-based next-generation sequencing panel at Brigham & Women’s Hospital; this “Rapid Heme” panel for hematologic malignancies was one of the first sequencing panels used clinically. He also co-organized the Society for Hematopathology Workshop in Chicago in 2017, which focused on molecular hematopathology. He was always exceedingly generous with his time and ideas, which challenged others to elevate their own level of understanding and think outside the box: since our time together in residency and throughout our many professional collaborations afterwards, I recall many “aha” moments after hearing Frank explain something, making me think of something in a new way. Frank did it all selflessly, and without ever asking for recognition.
At the beginning of 2018, together with his wife Fong, Frank moved to the University of California Los Angeles Health Medical Center, to become their Director of Molecular Pathology and join his two sons Calvin and Linus in Los Angeles. It is truly tragic that his sojourn in Los Angeles, which brought him richly deserved professional and personal fulfillment, was cut so short. Frank will be sorely missed by the
Society for Hematopathology and the entire molecular pathology and hematopathology communities. His contributions, generosity of spirit and humility will continue to be an inspiration to all of us.
--Robert P Hasserjian, MD