I first met Dr. Steven Treon in February, 2004 when I joined the Bing Center as a volunteer. As a fellow BU alumnus, and 30 year high tech engineer, I was immediately impressed with Steve's ability to explain complex subject matter (i.e. blood cancer research) in ways that a "lay-person" can understand. I consider it a privilege to have attended his lab meetings where the latest research was regularly presented and discussed. It felt like I was auditing a post-graduate level biology class (and I never did well in chemistry or biology). Steve is always pushing the envelope, whether it is working with the pharmaceutical companies to develop custom molecules to aid with specific research projects, or to develop targeted therapies to be used in clinical trials, and eventually made generally available to patients. No matter what activity was taking place, Steve was involved in every step of the process.

Over the years, I have seen the Bing Center serve as a "training ground" for young researchers advancing in their careers. Due, in large part, to Steve's mentorship, many have gone onto MDs, Ph.Ds and even "MD, Ph.D". Others have gone into other areas of research. Steve always stressed the importance of being a "scientist", being curious, and striving for excellence, and that shows in his incredible body of work. Steve's efforts over the past 25 years have made the Bing Center a world class research and treatment center for Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia. Thousands of WM patients from all over the world have come to the Bing Center for consultation and/or treatment. The research conducted there has spearheaded the development of new therapies which have extended the lifespans and quality of life for WM patients by decades.


One thing I always noticed about Steve is the level of respect he has for his patients. He has always placed great value on the importance of communication with patients, caregivers, and their families. Steve takes great pride in the fact that "Waldenstrom's patients are the most educated in the world". He plays an active role in patient advocacy groups (the IWMF in particular) and devotes much of his personal time travelling around the world meeting with patients.

Steve also recognized the value that I could bring to the effort, and had no problem putting me right to work assisting the researchers in their collection of clinical data, developing a serum bank database, creating specialized websites, and helping organize and run their specialized medical conferences. I consider my work for the Bing Center as the most personally rewarding work of my career, and I will always be thankful to Steve for giving me that opportunity. As an example of Steve's thoughtfulness, he once included me as a co-author on a published research study regarding familial WM. When I asked him what I did to deserve such an honor, he reminded me that I wrote the software that allowed the researchers to collect the clinical data needed to do the statistical analysis for the study, and that I deserved to be listed as an author.

When I joined the Bing Center as an experienced "fifty-something" engineer, after working in high tech for 30 years, I thought I had seen my share of smart & capable people. But Steve is on a whole 'nother level. To paraphrase one of his colleagues at one of the many scientific meetings Steve helped to organize, "Nobody, other than Jan Waldenstrom himself, has done more to advance the scientific knowledge of Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia than Dr. Steven Treon." I am proud, and humbled, to consider Steve a colleague and friend. And I congratulate him for his 25 years of service to Dana-Farber, and to the cancer community in general, and lastly (maybe most importantly), for being such a wonderful human being.

-- Phil Brodsky

Top Photo: Some of the Bing Center staff from March, 2012. Back row (l-r) Yansheng Zhou, Phil Brodsky, Chris Patterson, Guang Yang, Bob Manning, Zach Hunter, and Steve Treon. Front (l-r) Yang Cao, Lian Xu, and Xia Liu.

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