With great sadness, the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) family would like to share the news of the loss of our dear friend and esteemed PCF Board member (Emeritus) Arthur H. Kern, who passed away on November 16, 2022, at the age of 76.
Art was incredibly proud of his career in philanthropy. He and his family were touched deeply by cancer – Art lost his 11-year-old niece Mara to brain cancer, and later both he and his brother John survived prostate cancer diagnoses. Art translated his personal experience into philanthropic action, serving on the Boards of leading cancer research organizations such as National Brain Tumor Board, University of California San Francisco Foundation, and, of course, PCF.
In fact, Art was an early supporter of PCF’s mission to accelerate research towards the new treatments and diagnostics that will end death and suffering from prostate cancer. Art’s treasured involvement as part-owner of the San Francisco Giants provided a natural stepping-stone towards joining PCF’s life-saving community in 1997 through the Home Run Challenge, PCF’s ongoing philanthropic partnership with Major League Baseball to raise funds and awareness every June in support of prostate cancer research. And, after several years of loyal and passionate donor support, Art himself began serving as a leader of the PCF team, joining PCF’s Board of Directors in 2004.
“I knew Art personally, and he was a friend of both PCF as well as UCSF during my time there,” shares PCF President & CEO Charles J. Ryan, MD. “Art was always a very positive and encouraging presence and a very strong supporter of early career researchers. He was a gem of a human being.”
Art served PCF and its mission with distinction through his Board service for 12 years, until finally stepping down in 2016. But his commitment to our work never waned – ultimately Art and his family sponsored 15 separate PCF science research awards between 1999 and 2021, including 6 individual PCF Young Investigator Awards and 3 PCF “Team Science” Challenge Awards.
Through the generosity of the Kern Family, PCF has been able to support the prostate cancer research work of:
- David Heber, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Peter Scardino, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)
- Gary Miller, MD, PhD, of the University of Colorado
- Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Phillip Febbo, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
- Eric Small, MD, of UCSF and UCLA
- Ross Levine, MD, of MSKCC
- Albert Chang, MD, PhD, of UCLA
- Jean Tien, PhD, of the University of Michigan
- Joaquin Mateo, MD, PhD, of Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (Barcelona, Spain)
- Philip Kantoff, MD, of MSKCC
- Tianyi Liu, PhD, of UCSF
- Ivan de Kouchkovsky, MD, of UCSF
- Haolong Li, PhD, of UCSF
The cultivation of the careers of these cancer researchers and the medical knowledge stemming from the results of their work comprise Art’s true legacy – one measured in scientific discovery, lives saved, and families kept whole.
“I met Art in the late 1990s. The gentle way he influenced people raised the passion for many in cancer science, and especially me,” shares PCF Chief Science Officer Howard R. Soule, PhD. “Art was a warrior for so many on the journey of cancer. We will miss him greatly, but his wisdom will burn brightly in the hearts of so many.”
PCF owes a large debt of gratitude to Art for his 25 years of generosity, 22 years of direct cancer researcher support, and 12 years of PCF Board leadership. Thanks to Art’s dedication to PCF, the cancer research landscape – and the lives of countless prostate cancer patients and their families – will remain forever altered.
Please join us in keeping the Kern family in our prayers and celebrating the good fortune to have known our good friend and partner, Art Kern. We are grateful for the time we had with him, and the world is a better place today for having had him in it.