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Dr. Perry

In Memoriam: Michael Perry, MD, 1945-2011

Dr. Perry was a renowned cancer clinician, educator, researcher and administrator at MU since 1975

Michael Clinton Perry, MD, a renowned cancer clinician, educator, researcher and administrator at the University of Missouri for more than 35 years, passed away Oct. 23, 2011, in Columbia after a long and courageous battle with polycystic kidney disease and cancer. He was 66.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia. A private burial at Columbia Cemetery will follow. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Missouri United Methodist Church.

Dr. Perry was born Jan. 27, 1945, in Wyandotte, Mich., the son of Clarence Clinton and Hilda Grace Perry. As a teenager, he broke his arm, and after discussing career options with the attending physician, decided to change his career goal from that of pharmacist to physician.

He earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Wayne State University in Detroit, where in a French class he met Nancy Ann Kaluzny. They married in 1968. Dr. Perry attended medical school at Wayne State, earning a medical degree in 1970. He then completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as fellowships in hematology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic. He also received a master's of science degree in medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1975, when he joined the faculty at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Perry
During his career at MU, Dr. Perry served as director of hematology and medical oncology, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and a senior associate dean. He also was the Nellie B. Smith Chair of Oncology, medical director of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and medical director of clinical trials for MU's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. He became a professor emeritus in 2010.

His many awards and honors included the University of Missouri Faculty Alumni Award and Honorary Medical Alumni Award. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State University's medical school, the Distinguished Southern Oncologist from the Southern Association for Oncology, Master of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Statesman Award, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee Service Award. He was frequently named one of the Best Doctors in America and included in America's Top Doctors.

Dr. Perry was also a member of several professional societies. At the national level, he was a member of the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee. He was dedicated to the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), an NCI-designated clinical research group, and served as chair of its membership committee for more than 30 years.

Dr. Perry also was an active member of the American Medical Association and Missouri State Medical Association. He served as president of the Southern Association for Oncology and on the board of directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He also was chair of the State of Missouri Organ Donor Advisory Committee and president of the Boone County Medical Society.

Dr. Perry published more than 150 research papers and nearly 50 book chapters. He was the editor of the books Toxicity of Chemotherapy and The Chemotherapy Source Book, both of which are widely used and respected manuals in the field. He also held editorial positions at many distinguished journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Seminars in Oncology, and Contemporary Oncology.

Dr. Perry had a great passion for collecting baseball cards, a hobby he began in his youth, and enjoyed teaching a course on the history of baseball for the Honors College at MU. His favorite team was his hometown Detroit Tigers. He had a great love of reading, including to his granddaughters, and consumed books on a variety of topics. He also loved his golden retrievers and his classic Thunderbird convertible, which was driven in parades and for weddings. He was a longtime member of Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia.

Most of all, he will be lovingly remembered by his family, wife, Nancy; daughter, Rebecca Perry Magniant, husband Stanislas "Stan" and daughters Lucie and Charlotte, all of Paris, France; and daughter, Katherine "Katie" Perry Harris, husband Jeff and daughter Grace, all of Columbia. He also is survived by a brother, Paul Perry of Taylor, Mich., and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be sent to the University of Missouri School of Medicine, designated in memory of Dr. Michael C. Perry, to 1 Hospital Drive, DC066.00, Columbia, Mo., 65212. Online condolences may be left at

MU Health Magazine


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