Ralph W. de Vere White grew up in Ireland where he attended medical school and married his wife, Antoinette. The family grew by two sons, Mark and Simon. From there, they went to North Carolina where Dr. de Vere White completed his urology residency at Duke. Soon after, they moved to Boston where Henry (child number 3) joined the family then to New York. In 1984, the family arrived in Sacramento where Dr. de Vere White became chair of the Department of Urology at UC Davis. In 1996, he was appointed director of the UC Davis Cancer Center with the aim of building a team that would improve for patient’s all-aspect of cancer care.
In 2002, this mission was affirmed by receiving designation from the National Cancer Institute. In 2012, the center became the 41st NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the country. The center joined with hospitals in Truckee, Marysville, Merced, and Bakersfield to form a Cancer Care Network with the aim of bringing the advantages of a Comprehensive Cancer Center to patients treated close to their home. The center is also focused on helping eliminate, in our region, cancer health disparities, some examples having Asian Americans tested for Hepatitis B status, encouraging Native American woman to receive mammograms, understanding genetic abnormalities in Hispanic woman that predisposes them to development of breast cancer, and is in the process of forming an early-phase cancer clinical trials program for everyone in Sacramento. Dr. de Vere White stepped down as director of the center last July. His own work focused on prostate and bladder cancer, both at a basic science and clinical trials level. He is the past chair of the DOD prostate cancer integration group, past president of the Society of Urology Oncology, and recipient of the Huggins medal given by that society for lifetime achievement in urological oncology. From the American Urological Association, he received a presidential citation for contribution to cancer research and education.
No one knows better than ACS that we will never control or defeat cancer without philanthropic help. Ralph and Antoinette are extremely proud of their sons – Since opening de Vere’s pubs, they have raised over $1.6 million for cancer research. This year on Saint Baldrick’s day, where people shave their heads to raise money for childhood cancer, their sons with help from Patrick Mulvaney , who contributed what the de Vere White men could not - hair, raised over $250,000 for this charity. Truly, fighting cancer is a family affair.
RALPH de VERE WHITE, M.D.
Emeritus Director, UC Davis Cancer Center
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