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Henry Lynch

Chairman Preventative Medicine

Creighton University School of Medicine


Chairman Preventative Medicine


Creighton University School of Medicine







What makes Henry T. Lynch a Global Shaker?

Henry T. Lynch, MD, the namesake for Lynch syndrome, is known as the “father of cancer genetics” and “the father of hereditary cancer detection and prevention” for his work identifying cancer syndromes and their patterns of inheritance.

He was the chairman of preventive medicine at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and held the Charles F. and Mary C. Heider Endowed Chair in Cancer Research.

The late Dr Lynch began studying potential hereditary causes of nonpolyposis colon cancer in the 1960s, when the medical profession believed that cancer was not a hereditary disease.

He established the cardinal principles of cancer genetics: early age of disease onset, specific patterns of multiple primary cancers, and Mendelian patterns of inheritance in extended families.

His findings led to the identification of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, better known as Lynch syndrome. Dr Lynch’s results showed that, with early detection, up to 90% of patients with Lynch syndrome and other colon cancers can be cured.

He also discovered that some primary tumours of the breast and ovary follow a Mendelian pattern of inheritance. Now known as hereditary breast/ovarian cancer syndrome, that work contributed to the discovery of the risks associated with BRCA1/2 mutations.

Dr Lynch received numerous awards during his career including a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society in 1997 and the AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research in 2010. More recently, he was named one of the Giants of Cancer Care of 2019.

Henry Thompson Lynch, passed away on 2 June 2019. He will be remembered for his outstanding contribution to finding a cure for cancer.

Tags: breast cancer, cancer, cancer research, cancer treatment, genetics, genomics

Last updated: February 5, 2020