MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

In memoriam: Raymond E. Meyn, Ph.D.

January 04, 2018
Tracey Barnett


Raymond E. Meyn, Ph.D., Graduate School faculty member affiliated with the Programs in Cancer Biology and Medical Physics, passed away Dec. 27, 2017, after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

Meyn joined the Graduate School faculty in 1971 and was
faculty president from 1986-1987. He was also a professor in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology at
MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research varied over the years and included investigating DNA repair in mammalian cells, programmed apoptosis and immunology, treatments using molecular-targeted agents combined with radiotherapy, and the role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in governing tumor cell response to radiation.

At the school, Meyn was known for mentoring students. Over his Graduate School career, he taught 29 courses, supervised
26 tutorials, served on 13 standing committees and was a member of 101 student advisory committees.

Those who wish to make a contribution in Meyn’s honor may do so at Be sure to note that your contribution is “in memory of Dr. Raymond E. Meyn.”

Below are some words of remembrance from students and colleagues who worked with Meyn.

“During his long tenure as a GSBS member, Ray Meyn contributed in many ways to both the academics of the school and to its administration. Most memorable to me was his interactions with our students. Ray would listen to presentations at advisory committee meetings with keen attention, and then offer his analysis of the research presented. Inevitably, this was followed by questions that challenged the student to go beyond a description of events toward an understanding of the mechanisms involved. I’m sure I’m not the only member of the faculty who felt they had learned a lesson from Ray as well.” —William Plunkett, Ph.D., faculty member; professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, MD Anderson

“I had the pleasure of having Dr. Meyn on my Master’s Advisory Committee in 2001 and felt very fortunate to have such a well-respected academician help me take a major step in my scientific career. Dr. Meyn did an amazing job of identifying weak points in my project, but did so in a way that did not affect my confidence and encouraged me to continuously improve my work. When I finally presented my results to the committee, I was really hoping to impress him, and I did. I will always remember his demeanor in dealing with me as a young student and do my best to treat my students in the same way.”—Ali Azhdarinia, Ph.D. alumnus and faculty member; assistant professor, Center for Molecular Imaging

"Ray came from a mold that I am not sure exists any more. To say he was smart doesn’t capture the depth of his insights. To say he was nice doesn’t convey the kindness that Ray spread to everyone he met. To say he was cool, well—Ray was the epitome of cool. Through all his success, he remained very humble and in carrying himself that way, set a template for those of us who followed him to try and emulate. Ray touched many people in his life, and I have had the good fortune of work with several exceptional scientists, but I know for me, he is the one person I try most to emulate. He will be missed, but never forgotten.”—David Voehringer, Ph.D., alumnus; director, ProteinSimple

"Dr. Meyn devoted his life's work to the fight against cancer. His research advancements and training of future scientists is an honorable legacy."—Gus Pappas, Ph.D., alumnus; independent patent agent

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