Article courtesy of Center Times, a publication of UT Southwestern

Dr. Eugene P. Frenkel, an internationally recognized cancer researcher and admired clinician and educator who pioneered UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Division of Hematology and Oncology, died June 21, 2019. He was 89.

Dr. Frenkel was a National Cancer Institute Investigator known for discoveries linking vitamin B12 metabolism and cancer, and he remained committed to translational cancer research throughout his career. He also was revered for his compassionate bedside care and was highly respected as an academic mentor who supported the career development of countless students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty during a remarkable 57-year career at UT Southwestern. Dr. Frenkel, Professor of Internal Medicine and Radiology, was a Master of the American College of Physicians, a distinction bestowed for the excellence and significance of contributions to the science and art of medicine.

“Dr. Frenkel’s contributions enhanced our scientific understanding of the association between cancer and neural function. His early research led to the discovery that vitamin B12 deficiencies had a destructive effect on the myelin sheath, a covering that surrounds and protects nerve fibers,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “In other studies, he helped to define the basis of drug resistance in the treatment of patients with breast and genitourinary cancers. Just as importantly, for decades, he was a medical adviser to legions of Dallasites who came to depend on his wise counsel, even when he was not acting as their physician.”

Dr. Frenkel’s research success attracted support from the scientific community, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Cancer Society, while the high level of personalized care he provided to decades of grateful patients resulted in substantial philanthropic support given in his honor that not only furthered his own research through the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, but which he also used to support and advance the careers of junior colleagues. Read more


Read Dr. Eugene P. Frenkel’s full obituary