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In Memoriam: Arthur L. Irving

David F. M. Brown, MD, Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, Nir Hacohen, PhD, Arthur, Sandra and Sarah Irving, and David P. Ryan, MD at the 2022 Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Symposium

Hospital News

In Memoriam: Arthur L. Irving

For 30 years, Arthur L. Irving was a loyal friend and steadfast supporter and champion of Massachusetts General Hospital and its many patients.

Mass General Giving
May 23, 2024

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Arthur L. Irving on May 13, 2024, at the age of 93. For 30 years, he was a loyal friend and steadfast supporter and champion of Massachusetts General Hospital and its many patients.

“We mourn the loss of a kind and generous man who, together with his family, answered the call of leadership, time and time again, and never missed an opportunity to make life better for our patients and staff,” says David F. M. Brown, MD, Mass General Brigham’s president of Academic Medical Centers. “We offer our sincere condolences to Arthur’s family and loved ones, and especially to his wife Sandra and daughter Sarah, who share his ideals, vision and commitment to alleviating human suffering through philanthropy.”

During his long friendship with Mass General, Arthur, with Sandra and Sarah, made many significant contributions to the hospital’s research, education and clinical efforts. As longtime friends to the Department of Cardiology, they made their first gift in 1993 in honor of Adolph M. Hutter Jr., MD, followed by gifts to the Cardiac Performance Program and to create the Hutter Family Professorship in Medicine in the Field of Cardiology at Harvard Medical School.

Arthur, Sandra and Sarah recognized the potential of expanded research in cancer immunology and served as powerful advocates for scientific discovery in the field. Together, they established the David P. Ryan, MD, Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, the Arthur and Sandra Irving Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunology and special funds in anal cancer immunology research and gastrointestinal immuno-oncology research.

With their collective experience in education, they soon identified an opportunity to ensure future scientists were given the tools to be successful in cancer immunology and launched the Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Innovation Retreat and the Cancer Immunology Symposium. This is the only conference in cancer immunology dedicated to research career development.

The fourth annual Arthur and Sandra Irving Cancer Immunology Symposium will be held June 24-27, 2024 in Boston, Mass. This year, 40 promising young scientists will be paired with 13 accomplished faculty mentors who will share their discoveries and career experience in the field of cancer immunology. The mentor-mentee relationships formed at this event last for years and help to ensure the promise of cancer immunology research is met and that the best ideas are quickly translated into therapies for patients with cancer. Arthur’s interactions and words of encouragement for our research community live on and continue to serve as a source of inspiration.

Arthur, a successful businessman, was deeply dedicated to his employees, customers and the communities in which they lived and worked, and that same care extended to the Mass General community. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arthur, Sandra and Sarah made a $1 million gift to the Emergency Response Fund at Mass General to ensure the safety of healthcare workers and the best possible care for the patient community.

Arthur Irving leaves an enduring legacy that makes an impact every day through the work of Mass General faculty and staff as they care for the ill, discover life-saving treatments for disease and advance science and medicine for patients around the world.

To make a gift to the Mass General Cancer Center in honor of Arthur and in tribute to his deep desire to help cancer researchers, doctors and patients, please click here.