publication date: Jun. 6, 2014


An Appreciation

Eddie Reed, 60, a Developer of Taxol

Eddie Reed, a physician who conducted ground-breaking clinical studies on paclitaxel, one of the major cancer drugs of our time, died May 28.

Reed, 60, had liver cancer.

Many of us will remember Eddie for his achievements. They were many and spectacular. In the late 1980s, I was the other and younger Black doctor in the Medicine Branch at NCI. I will remember him as a cancer doc, an intense man with high standards.

Over the years, I got to understand and even love this complex man.

Eddie was born near West Memphis, Ark. He was one of sixteen children. His parents were sharecroppers. Eddie experienced segregation and discrimination in ways many Americans have forgotten existed. I will always remember him telling me about his brother who had an asthma attack and died after an Arkansas hospital refused to treat him because they did not treat “Negroes.”

This is perhaps the best example of the environment Eddie and his siblings grew up in. They were all driven. Eddie was not the only of his brothers and sisters to go to college. Several received graduate degrees. Like Eddie, they have served in high positions in government and academia and done tremendous service for this country.

Eddie would go to Philander Smith College, a small historically Black college in Little Rock. He would go on to the Yale Medical School, complete internal medicine residency at Stanford and a fellowship in medical oncology at NCI. He stayed … Continue reading 40-23 Eddie Reed, 60, A Developer of Taxol

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