George Furin – A Life Well Lived
George Furin was an esteemed molecular biologist renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries in medicine. He discovered and cloned Kex2p, a proprotein convertase which can break down pituitary-derived neuropeptides such as g-LPH and b-endorphin.
It has since been identified as a receptor for transforming growth factor beta (TGF-bs), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGFR-1), and some tumor-associated proteins in the KRAS pathway. Furthermore, it activates several viral glycoproteins and bacterial toxins such as Pseudomonas exotoxin A and Shiga toxin.
Early Life and Education
George Furin was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania to Steve and Anna Furin. His father was a doctor and his mother worked as a nurse. George attended North Huntingdon High School before earning both his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maryland and master’s in education from the University of Minnesota. Known for his love of nature and desire to help others, George became an active supporter of HIV/AIDS-related organizations until his passing on December 24, 2015.
Show your support and share your memories of George with his family by leaving a message in the guestbook. We will add it to a special keepsake book just for them. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of you in the Furin family.
As a scientist, George Furin achieved many noteworthy accomplishments. He was an innovator in gene therapy, leading multiple early phase trials for hemophilia A and B adeno-associated viral gene addition therapies for children with genetic disorders. Furthermore, his work at Pharma was notable; creating an innovative drug to treat head and neck cancer (HNSC). As a clinical researcher, George created the first gene-modified human embryos used for gene replacement therapy as well as humanized recombinant antisense RNA-mediated gene transfer therapy for hemophilia A and B clotting disorders.
Achievements and Honors
George Furin is an acclaimed researcher whose work has had a major impact on science. His furin inhibitor research is amongst the most successful and cited works of recent years, making a major impact on multiple myeloma clinical outcomes.
He has received numerous awards for his research and clinical contributions, such as the ASH Ernest Beutler Prize, COMY Award for MM Research (Paris, France), and Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. A member of both American Society of Hematology and ASCO, he served on their Internet Cancer Information Committee during 2017. Survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Marion Furin; six children: Marion McFeely with husband Ray; Susie Olwell also with husband Ray; Amelia Furin; George Furin Jr. with wife Susan; Stephen Furin; Mary Furin; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister Sue Magga; plus numerous nieces and nephews.
George Furin was a highly respected officer with many years of service on the force. He also had a deep compassion for family, cherishing time spent with his children and grandchildren.
He passed away in 2000 at the age of 90 and was buried at Sylvan Heights Cemetery and Memorial Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, USA. Survived by his wife Mary R. and several daughters, as well as 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, he will be greatly missed by many friends and colleagues alike. An avid golfer, traveller, communicator extraordinaire, musician extraordinaire and talented chef extraordinaire; his loyalty to those close to him was legendary and will be sorely missed by them all.