Gordon H. Theilen, DVM, DACVIM (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine), one of the world’s most honored veterinary medicine research scientists and practitioners, is recognized as the progenitor of veterinary oncology. His groundbreaking research in cancer virology in the 1960s led to his establishment of the world’s first veterinary clinical oncology service. With contributions from colleagues, Dr. Theilen coauthored Veterinary Cancer Medicine, the world’s first reference textbook and definitive reference source on veterinary oncology. The legions of veterinary students whom he taught during his four decades as a distinguished professor of surgical and radiological sciences have helped entrench worldwide veterinary oncology as an essential discipline within veterinary medicine.
Now, 60 years after he first entered veterinary practice, Dr. Theilen has documented his life story in two companion books, the first of which is The Boy With the Wounded Thumb. This book is a narrative describing how a childhood brush with near-tragedy, coupled with his innate curiosity about nature, set him on course for a career in veterinary science. His forthcoming book One Medicine War on Cancer describes his investigation into how neoplasia develops from retroviral infections, which led to his work’s foundational concept of integrating oncologic research in humans and animals.
Dr. Theilen hopes that these autobiographical books, a testament to the demonstrative results of innovative scientific investigation, will enlighten and inspire future generations of comparative oncologists, including medical and veterinary researchers and practitioners. All interested in understanding and defeating cancer, whether in animals or humans, will gain needed insights from wisdom given in these books.