Gouri Shankar Bhattacharyya, MD, FRCP, died this past week of COVID-19–related complications. A medical oncologist in Kolkata, India, with 25 years of experience, Dr. Bhattacharyya’s special interests were many and included biologic response modifiers, the tumor microenvironment, palliative care, and geriatric oncology. The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care awarded him with a certificate of recognition in 2013 for Promotion and Development of Palliative Care in the World.
Dr. Bhattacharyya was a past president of the Indian Society of Medical and Pediatric Oncology (ISMPO). He has published more than 200 papers and has been an investigator on more than 50 phase II/III clinical trials.
According to Ullas Batra, MD, DM, Dr. Bhattacharyya was a mentor and guide to a number of early-career oncologists in India. “He was one of the main physicians to discuss oncology care in India on the world stage,” Dr. Batra said. “He made it possible for the young oncologists like myself to believe that progress was possible.”
Dr. Bhattacharyya was running for a seat on the IASLC Board of Directors. Long known for his efforts to improve cost of and access to care, he was passionate about bridging the gaps in lung cancer education and care by connecting, supporting, informing, and empowering caregivers and the community.
“GS, as he was fondly referred to in India, was a compassionate and caring human being, an out-of-the box thinker, a man of excellence, and a wonderful poet. He will be missed by one and all,” said Dr. Batra.
Alex Adjei, MD, editor of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), also spoke about Dr. Bhattacharyya. “Gouri would make you feel like he had known you for years, even if you just met him. He drew you in with his friendliness and infectious smile. He was energetic, smart, engaging, dependable, and thoughtful. A tireless supporter of the JTO and a pre-eminent editorial board member, I will miss his smile and good counsel.”
Navneet Singh, MD, an active volunteer of the IASLC for many years, also commented. “GS was very enthusiastic and well-read. He was a true embodiment of the famous inspirational quote by one of the all-time great women athletes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee: ‘Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”