Alumnus supports next generation of academic leaders

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Alumnus supports next generation of academic leaders

Arthur Herbst, AB ’53, MD ’59, was part of a seminal discovery in 1971 linking prenatal treatment with diethylstilbestrol (DES)—a synthetic estrogen meant to prevent miscarriage—to a rare, clear-cell adenocarcinoma cancer found in a cluster of young women whose mothers took the drug. His landmark paper ushered in an era of research into the delayed effects of carcinogen exposure on embryologic development.

Headshot: Arthur Herbst In addition to this landmark paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Herbst has had a long and successful career in patient care, teaching, and research, making his mark in the field of gynecologic cancer. He credits Harvard with much of this success. In honor of his 60th Reunion next year, Herbst has given an additional $150,000 to convert his existing research fund into the Arthur L. Herbst Endowed Scholarship Fund to support scholars interested in the reproductive sciences or women’s cancers.

“The cost of medical education has become increasingly prohibitive,” Herbst says, noting that he had a lot of help getting through Harvard, including a scholarship he received as an undergraduate and private support he received for his research during medical school. “Harvard trains people to become academic leaders in basic science research, clinical practice, various specialties, and across every discipline in medicine. This is a way for me to support the next generation.”

Dean for Medical Education Edward M. Hundert, MD ’84, says, “Support from inspiring alumni like Arthur enables any student to come to HMS and then go on to make their own mark on science, medicine, and the world.”

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