Press Release

American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors leader in fight against prostate cancer


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Patrick C. Walsh, a renowned urologist who pioneered work in the understanding and treatment of prostate cancer, was honored with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Francis Amory Prize here on March 14. Given by the Academy since 1940, the prize recognizes major advances in reproductive biology and medical care.

Dr. Walsh is University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Following the prize ceremony, he participated in the Francis Amory Symposium on advances in reproductive biology and medicine. Other presenters included David Page, Director, Whitehead Institute, Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Patricia K. Donahoe, Director, Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories and Chief Emerita, Pediatric Surgical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marshall K. Bartlett Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School.

Walsh served for 30 years as director of the Brady Urological Institute, where he developed and refined an anatomic approach to radical prostatectomy. The procedure, performed on hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide, dramatically reduces the most serious side effects of the surgery.

Along with coworkers, he was the first to describe the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme deficiency, to develop an experimental technique for the induction of benign prostatic hyperplasia, to demonstrate the influence of reversible androgen deprivation on BPH, and to characterize hereditary prostate cancer.

“Dr. Walsh’s research and surgical innovation have led to the relief of suffering and longer term survival in prostate cancer patients,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “His work directly fulfills the aspirations of the donor of the Francis Amory Prize. The Academy is pleased to honor Dr. Walsh.”

Walsh is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine. The co-recipient of the 2007 King Faisal International Prize in Medicine, he has served as president of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons and the Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons.

With Janet F. Worthington, he authored the best-selling books for lay people: The Prostate: A Guide for Men and the Women Who Love Them and Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to lead studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education.