February 12, 1946 – January 29, 2014
Thesis supervisor April 1, 2007 – January 29, 2014
You get to have your own acknowledgements page in this thesis. Not because you died before it was finished (well, maybe a little), but because this thesis would not have been written without you. Even before I knew you personally, I knew I wanted to work with you because of your research interests. Apparently you told people: ‘Monique just came into my office one day and sort of hired herself’. I still consider this to be one of the best decisions I ever made, not just because of your research, but more because of the example you set as a researcher and supervisor. In the seven years I had the pleasure of working with you, I always admired your intelligence, spirit and enthusiasm.
As a supervisor you gave me the freedom to try and figure things out for myself (even when I wanted to learn to program from Google I had your support). Whenever I got stuck, you were there with historical radiobiological knowledge, recent literature or one of your famous excel sheets with a simulation of our current problem or, if nothing else worked, a good joke (‘that’s great, let’s send it to the journal of insignificant results’). I remember always leaving our discussions feeling enthusiastic about new ideas for experiments and analyses. I know I was not the only one to benefit from discussions with you, your door was always open for others with radiobiological questions, whether a first-year PhD student or a professor.
As a researcher you often surprised me with your lateral thinking. Whenever you read an interesting paper on a (according to me) totally unrelated subject like the fruit fly genome, you were able to extract ways to use that knowledge, or a similar experimental approach, in our research. Your ability to make connections was not just limited to literature but led to collaborations with many clinicians, making the research you did both biologically interesting and clinically relevant.
Dear Adrian, thank you for your mentorship, your knowledge, your kindness, your enthusiasm and your support. Although I wish you could have been here to see this thesis finished and continue our research, I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to work with you. Feeling sorry for everyone that will not be able to meet you in person anymore, I include these links to your obituary and lectures:
Obituary Adrian Begg ESTRO
Lectures given by Adrian Begg at the MAASTRO Clinic 2011/2012:
The Linear-Quadratic (LQ) Model – all you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
Flow cytometry: principles, and (mainly) cell cycle applications in radiation oncology
Good and bad ways to assess treatment response
Exploiting DNA repair to improve radiotherapy
Tumor proliferation: basic concepts and therapeutic possibilities