Dr. Henry T. Lynch is a member of the LSI Executive Board of Directors as well as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee.
In 1944, at only 16 years of age, Henry T. Lynch joined the United States Navy. He proceeded to serve in the European theater, the South Pacific battles and the Philippine liberation.
Two years later, after receiving an honorable discharge he attended college, graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1951. At the age of 24, he obtained his Masters degree in psychology from Denver University, then attended medical school, graduating from the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston in 1960, after completing all the course work toward a PhD in Human genetics in Austin.
It was while as a resident at the University of Nebrasa, Dr. Lynch first encountered individuals who had many family members who were affected of or died of cancers of which they, themselves, had been diagnosed. Due to his strong background in genetics, Dr. Lynch had the novel idea to look at cancer through a genetics perspective, postulating its root cause was hereditary rather than environmental, which was the school of thought of how all cancers were created.
Dr. Lynch's studied the cancers for years and in 1970 applied for an NIH grant to study even further in depth. His research indicated there had to be a factor at work that created specific familial cancers. Nonetheless, the committee did not agree with him and thorough discounted the idea cancer could be hereditary.
For the next twenty years, he applied for grants and was often rejected, however he continued his reeesearch with minimal funding and totally and passionately convinced he would one day be able to provide cancer can be hereditary.
Never giving up, that day came and Dr. Lynch developed what are regarded as the cardinal principles of cancer genetics: early age of onset of the disease, specific pattern of multiple primary cancers and Mendalian patterns of inheritance in hundreds of extended families worldwide.
Dr. Lynch's publications number more than 650 journal articles and more than a dozen books related to the diagnosis, prevention, counseling and treatment of hereditary disorders, primarily cancer. He serves on the editorial board of Anticancer Research-International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, advisory boards of Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis and the Journal of Tumor Marker Oncology.
Dr. Lynch has held positions of leadership within major medical facilities and has been very involved in organizations and activities involving hereditary cancer, including being a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Tumor Marker Oncology, Anti-Cancer Research -International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment and American Journal of Medical Genetics.
Dr. Lynch has long advocated the genetics issue was a family issue and recognized the many needs of families with Lynch syndrome, both physically and psychologically. He envisioned the core of the diagnosis and treatment for this issue to be the family practitioner as the gateway into the network for care.
He has envisioned cancer education in high school and arged the case for the need for genetic counselors to work with families and provide necessary information and resources families need to make informed choices.
As a result of Dr. Lynch's efforts, many of us are alive today and we are eternally grateful to him for his dogged perseverance, his dedication toward Lynch syndrme research and the technological avancement which has improved the quality of life and its longevity for future generations. We intend to further his mission to make his dreams come true for the benefit of many. Dr. Henry T. Lynch has been involved in almost 700 studies involving inherited cancers.