Hall of Fame



Sydney Salmon, Class of 1954

Scientist, Clinician, Educator
Was born in Staten Island, New York on May 8, 1936 and moved with his parents to Tucson, Arizona in June of 1948. Thereafter, he attended Mansfeld Junior High School (1948-1951), and Tucson Senior School (1951-1954). While at THS, he was active in publications, and served as Art Editor of the Quarterly magazine. At that time he had a lot of interest in graphic arts and considered a career as a commercial artist and, in fact, worked part time as a graphic artist. Thereafter, Sydney went to the University of Arizona (1954-1958) where he majored in liberal arts and received a B.A. degree with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Psychology.
While at the U of A, he became engaged to Joan Tobias of Tucson who is also a graduate of THS. While at the U of A, Joan taught English at THS. They were married in June of 1958, just before Sydney began medical School at Washington University, in St. Louis, MO (1954-58). While he pursued his medical education, Joan worked as a medical secretary and a high school teacher. After obtaining the Md. Degree, Sydney did two years of medicine residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY (1962-62), followed by two years in the U.S. Public Health Service in Boston, where he had the appointment of Lt. Commander (1964-66) and also did research at Harvard Medical School.
After completing military service, Sydney and Joan moved to San Francisco where Sydney studied diseases of the blood and cancer at the University of California, San Francisco (1966-68), after which he joined the faculty of UCDF (1968-72). In 1972 he was recruited to join the newly established UA College of Medicine in Tucson, to head up its program on blood and cancer. By that time both Sydney and Joan had five children (Howard, Julia, Laura, Stewart, and Russell). Subsequently, all of their children attended THS and UA. Two of their children, Laura and Stewart have married, and all except Laura now live in Tucson. After returning to Tucson, Joan matriculated at the UA College of Nursing to obtain an RN. Thereafter, she worked as a nurse at University Medical Center.
In 1976, Sydney was appointed as the founding Director of the Arizona Cancer Center (ACC) at the UA College of Medicine. The ACC was recently designated as the only comprehensive cancer center in the Southwest by now has an annual research budget of $30 million and employs over 300 faculty and staff members. Sydney has been active in both laboratory and clinical cancer research and have published a large number of scientific articles and edited 12 books. He had particular interest in developing better treatments for cancer and have focused particular on breast cancer and multiple myeloma (a disease of the bone marrow). Several years ago, he was appointed as Regents Professor of Medicine at the UA and received a Centennial Award, at about the same time he was also appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute by the President of the United States. His latest initiative at the ACC is to double its total research space, and a drive to achieve that goal was recently launched. Joan currently serves as a volunteer at the cancer center. They have been married for 35 truly wonderful years, and during all that time, Joan has continued to be Sydney’s most loyal and enthusiastic supporter and best friend. His family life (including their children and their families) has always been their first priority.

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