Academician Tung-Tien Sun passed away in the United States on May 26, 2022. He was 75 years old.
Dr. Sun was a renowned biologist who made seminal contributions to stem cell biology and understanding how epithelial cells differentiate. Obtaining his Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Davis in 1974, Dr. Sun was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1978 to 1982. He then moved to New York University, School of Medicine where he was on the faculty until his retirement in 2019.
Dr. Sun’s research made pioneering and influential contributions. In particular, his studies demonstrated that proteins called keratins are important products of differentiating epithelial tissues in many internal organs. He also discovered that another family of proteins, uroplakins, are urothelium-specific and bladder cancer-subtyping markers.
In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Sun also devoted unstinting effort to share knowledge. He gave lectures around the world and established the “Scientific Method” symposium to share research methods and experiences with students.
Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Sun received many honors. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992), received the Alcon Award in Vision Research and was invited to numerous internationally-renowned medical schools as a lecturer. Dr. Sun was elected as an Academia Sinica Academician in 2002.