Professor Marcos Vidal, 1974-2016
It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce the death of our dear friend and colleague Professor Marcos Vidal.
Originally from Argentina, Marcos graduated as a Distinguished Student from the National University of Rosario in 1999 with a Masters in Biotechnology, followed by a PhD focused on vitamin D signalling from the same institution in 2003.
Marcos then spent the next six years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Ross Cagan in the United States where he was instrumental in dissecting the role of Csk-Src and Ret in tumourigenesis in Drosophila – work that led to several seminal publications. These included his 2006 Developmental Cell paper and his 2007 Cancer Research paper, for which he received the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Award for best postdoctoral paper.
Since establishing his research group here at the Beatson in 2009, Marcos has developed an outstanding programme of work focused on tumour-host interactions in the fruit fly, particularly the role of inflammation in cancer progression and the intestinal stem cell niche. His publications include important studies on the critical role of Ras in the response of epithelia cells to TNF (Developmental Cell 2010), the role of TNF/Eiger in tumourigenesis (Cell Reports 2014) and the regulation of intestinal cell stem proliferation by Bursicon/Lgr2 (Current Biology 2014).
During the last few years, Marcos also became widely acknowledged as the leading expert in using Drosophila as a model to study cancer. He was always very willing to share this knowledge and expertise and, as well as being a highly valued colleague to everyone here at the Institute, he was also a very active member of the wider Drosophila community, contributing to numerous meetings. In addition, he was a member of the Royal Society of Scotland Young Academy of Scotland and was active in teaching undergraduates at both the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
In recognition of his work and standing in the field, in July 2015 Marcos was unanimously recommended for promotion to Senior Group Leader by a panel of external experts, and was also subsequently promoted to Professor at the University of Glasgow.
Marcos was an extraordinarily talented and creative scientist, who had already made groundbreaking contributions to the field. His current work was focused on investigating cachexia and the role of the innate immune response to tumours, making further important and original contributions highly relevant to cancer. He will be hugely missed both as a mentor and colleague but also as a friend. Our thoughts are with his wife Julia and his family at this most difficult of times.
In Memory of Marcos Vidal (1974-2016)
An obituary of Marcos, written by Ross Cagan and Eyal Gottlieb, can be found in Disease Models & Mechanisms.