Dr. Julián Gómez-Cambronero, age 59, passed away on November 12th, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio (United States), where he lived and worked as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Wright State University.
Born in Manzanares, Ciudad Real, Spain, Julián was always fascinated with science and the physical universe, leading him to complete his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Immunology at the Complutense University (Madrid, Spain) in 1986. With the hope of becoming a scientist, he immigrated with his wife Teresa and young son, David, to the United States after having been granted the rare “Einstein Visa”.
After working first as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Dr. Cambronero became a part of the faculty at the University of Connecticut as a Research Assistant Professor. In 1995, he accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professorship position in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Wright State University, and was later promoted to Associate Professor in 2000 and to full Professor in 2004. During Julian’s time at Wright State University, he was also the Director of the Hematology course. Julián Gómez-Cambronero carried out outstanding scientific work in the fight against cancer, such as discovering a key protein that plays a critical role in the development of breast cancer tumors and the spread of the disease to the nearby lungs.
Due to the magnitude and importance of his research, Dr. Cambronero was named Honorary Professor at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, in 2012, and was awarded the title of Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research in 2013 at Wright State University. Most recently, he was granted a prestigious visiting scholar position at Harvard Medical University in 2015 alongside a multi-million dollar grant from the Nation Institute of Health, surely the culmination of his scientific endeavors and dreams.
A Message from the Family
“I have shared in my writings the passion and awe for the wonderful world of nature and the scientific discoveries with the general public and especially with children. They themselves are ‘scientists’ as they always ask the nagging question ‘why?’ and then, ‘but why’ after a first answer is insufficient. All of this is at the core of what we as professional scientists do every day in trying to understand the inner workings of nature.”
Despite the distance to his native land of Spain, Dr. Cambronero has always maintained a close relationship with Spain, where he returned often, urging the importance of family ties and cultural roots. His many scientific and intellectual passions inevitably made him a hometown hero in Manzanares, where he received the Professional Achievement “Sembrador” Award from The City of Manzanares in 2004, was named as the city's “Hijo Predilecto” (Favorite Son) in a grand ceremony in 2014, and was anointed as the Keynote Speaker in the Patron Saint festivities in 2016.
The mayor of Manzanares announced that Dr. Cambronero’s passing was “an irreparable loss for the entire world” and will soon be recognizing the figure of Julián Gómez-Cambronero, “who must always be present in our town.
Dr. Cambronero’s legacy will continue to make science available to the general public with his “Walk through the Solar System” - a scale model of the Solar System - where representations of the Sun and the planets have been positioned along a path throughout a public park in Manzanares, inspired by his time spent helping his daughter, Julia, with her science homework. Dr. Cambronero leaves behind the unfinished project of a Science Museum for children, based on his belief that early childhood education is fundamental in creating the researchers of tomorrow.
Julián is survived by his loving and always supportive wife Teresa Madrid, and his two children, Julia and David (Melissa), who illuminated his life and he cared for deeply.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Julián’s life during a funeral mass at the Immaculate Conception Church (Dayton, Ohio) on November 30 2018, at 10:30am.
The family provided the following links to offer a glimpse of Julián’s incredible life and accomplishments: