We learned the sad news this week that Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr. had passed away at the age of 88. He was a legend among the SWOG Cancer Research Network community, having led the group for more than two decades; furthermore, he was our founder.
In 1993, calling upon his famous sense of tenacity and vision, Dr. Coltman gathered SWOG leaders Dr. Laurence Baker, Dr. John Crowley, Dr. Rich Fisher and other SWOG enthusiasts to incorporate our organization under its original title, The Southwest Oncology Group Foundation. It was the start, quite literally, of Hope.
The motivation to build the non-profit charity was simple: The Foundation would support the SWOG community, helping to expand its members’ clinical work and to nurture their careers.
25 years later we remain committed to Dr. Coltman’s original mission. Our programs offer SWOG members opportunities for mentorship, protected time to conduct research, professional education and development, better group meetings, and more.
And in celebrating our 25th year, we look back at the incredible impact of Dr. C – across SWOG’s network and beyond. We are proud to report that the fellowship program in his name has helped grantees launch clinical trials across the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network, to further institutional pilot studies, to receive professional promotions and attain tenure, and to earn many subsequent grants and awards. The Young Investigator Training Course Coltman helped build has trained 100 participants since 1999. The countless additional ways he influenced our work – and SWOG’s – continue to enhance all that we do. We help SWOG help patients, and that’s exactly how Dr. C charted our course under that big Texas sky. Thank You, Dr. C. Your legacy lives on in Hope.