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Reflections on Dr. Yasunosuke Suzuki: World Renowned Mesothelioma Researcher Dead at the Age of 82

Through representing hundreds of mesothelioma clients and thousands of others with asbestos-related diseases, I have had the privilege to meet and work with some outstanding doctors and researchers.  One of the most, if not the most, extraordinary, was Dr. Yasunosuke Suzuki.  I was deeply saddened to hear that this world renowned, dedicated asbestos research scientist had passed away on August 8, 2011 at the age of 82.

One cannot underestimate the impact that Dr. Suzuki had in the world of asbestos disease.  He was truly one of the pioneers in asbestos research whose work no doubt saved the lives of thousands.  Dr. Suzuki was the last of the so called “Selikoff generation.”   His passing is an appropriate time to reflect on what Drs. Selikoff and Suzuki did in the world of public health as they led the battle against asbestos.

Dr. Suzuki and Dr. Irving J. Selikoff Were Pioneers in Asbestos Research

Mt Sinai Hospital New York

Dr. Irving J. Selikoff brought public awareness to the hazards of asbestos in his groundbreaking study of thousands of asbestos workers.  He is well known for his work, “Biological Effects of Asbestos,” which was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Suzuki, educated in Japan as a pathologist, came to live in America at the invitation of Dr. Selikoff to work with him in his laboratory at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

A highly skilled pathologist, Dr. Suzuki, studied the pathology of asbestos-related diseases with Dr. Selikoff.  From the early 1970s, Dr. Suzuki published his findings on asbestos diseases on topics such as asbestosis, the formation of asbestos bodies, and understanding mesothelioma through electron microscopy.  Dr. Suzuki’s work provided the support for Dr. Selikoff’s landmark epidemiological study on asbestos insulation workers.  Together they were pioneers in the field of asbestos medical research. Through his 40-plus year career, Dr. Suzuki published 171 peer reviewed scientific papers with over 100 of them related to asbestos diseases.

Yasunosuke Suzuki Was Highly Knowledgeable About Mesothelioma

In many of my cases, Dr. Suzuki served as an expert witness to confirm my mesothelioma clients’ diagnoses and to explain the pathology of the disease malignant mesothelioma.  Whenever he testified in court, the juries as well as the judges listened carefully and learned all that they could about this horrific and aggressive cancer, malignant mesothelioma.

This Superb Mesothelioma Researcher Will Be Long Remembered

The world has lost a brilliant and superb mesothelioma research scientist who was a kind and caring human being.  Yasunosuke Suzuki will be dearly missed by so many — by his family and friends, by me, and by my many mesothelioma clients and their families.  My mesothelioma clients and their families often did not fully understand how much Dr. Suzuki contributed to the diagnosis and understanding of the disease malignant mesothelioma.  But as their lawyer, I know how each and every one of them benefitted profoundly from his work.