- 38 years old
- Date of birth: Dec 14, 1977
- Place of birth:
Paupack, Pennsylvania, United States
- Date of passing: Feb 24, 2016
- Place of passing:
Miami, Florida, United States
|Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest. And the boy did. And the tree was happy.|
Holbrook's life recognized by The New York Times (visit link):
Standford University will host a celebration of Holbrook’s life and career
Sunday, May 22nd
4:00 – 7:00PM
Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center
326 Galvez St, Stanford, CA 94305
A celebration of Holbrook’s life was hosted on Friday, March 11, 2016. Here is a loving video tribute that was shared that evening.
At the bottom of this page, you are invited to submit your personal tribute to Holbook. Please scroll down and enter your rememberances in the "Leave A Tribute" Section.
To share your thoughts and memories with Holbrook’s family, please send your condolences to:
Ms. Marylou Kidd
526 Route 507
Paupack, PA 18451
Dr. Alan Kohrt
6312 Forest Park Drive
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Holbrook’s memory to the Holbrook Kidd Kohrt Cancer Immunotherapy Fund at Anticancerfund.org
U.S.-based donors can support the fund in a tax-efficient way through a contribution to the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS). Because KBFUS is a public charity, within the meaning of Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the IRS, donors may claim the maximum tax benefits allowed by U.S. law for their contributions. If you wish to support Holbrook's legacy, here is how to proceed:
Credit Card Donations: Go to www.kbfus.org, click on the ‘Donate Now’ button and select “Anticancer Fund (BE)” under ‘Giving Option 1: Nonprofit Partners Overseas’.
Check Donations: Write your check to KBFUS, write “Anticancer Fund” in the memo section of the check, and send it to KBFUS, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020.
Wire Transfers / Other property: Contact KBFUS at: email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (212) 713-7660.
Donations in Holbrook’s memory can also be made to the following organizations:
Children’s Hospital Foundation: please contact Julie Taylor at Julie.taylor@Erlanger.org
Stanford University: Please contact Dr. Ron Levy at email@example.com
"Holbrook, I'll be applying to residency this year. I never had the chance to fully thank you for your guidance; you were an amazing mentor, one of an entirely different caliber. Miss you."
"Dear Holbrook, I still think of you regularly and remember your positive influence on me and many other people. your life and work are a permanent source of inspiration. Rest in peace."
"Thanks for your friendship. You will always live in my memories and never be forgotten."
"Even for the little time I knew you, you were an amazing considerate doctor. I have dealt with many doctors in my life but you were one of the finest always attentive,caring and responsive. Someone who truly cared.
You will always be in our prayers and thoughts.
"Dear friend- You are forever missed and your void will always be there. The reminders of your presence in our lives are both painful and heart-warming. Whether it be on the lonely walk from the nearest hotel at ASH, my Amazon account that recently asked me if I wanted to ship you another Christmas tree to the Ham Yard, or the bubbles I carry in my coat pocket, we remember you. You made such an impact on each of us and on the world broadly. You taught us, inspired us, encouraged us, and made us reflect. Through laughing together, playing together, traveling together, and of course working together, we grew. You are missed, but you have made each of us better and stronger. We dearly wish you were here on this day so we could celebrate your life with you! But your spirit lives on with each of us, and today we celebrate your memory and the impact you've had on us. We hope we make you proud as we attempt to fill your void. We know you're shining down on each of us, giving us more strength, but we still dearly wish you were here with us. Thank you for everything. Xoxo"
"Last year we celebrated your birthday in London with your dear mother and amongst friends. Miss you dearly.
"I'll make sure to hoist a glass of gin in honor of your birthday this evening my friend; I miss you always.
"Holbrook - our paper that you worked with us on is soon to be accepted. I feel immensely pleased and honoured to publish this one with you. I only wish you were here to share in that. More importantly, I am indebted to you for making the world of medical research a so much better place. I cant recall a young person in this profession who energized me more. May you rest in peace."
"Hey man I am going back to CCSR tomorrow to start a new collaboration. I will swing by the lab and say hi to everyone. For those of us mediocre researchers that are growing old, the cycle of starting a project, working hard, and wrapping it up with a poster is never-ending. The last poster I made was turned into a double-edged light saber by the boys after the conference. That's about how useful the project was.
But with each new project, there is renewed hope that this one can save someone. Now that you rest and we must carry on, send us some of your inspiration, energy and tenacity. We will always remember and emulate you."
"I continue to think of you every single day, Holbrook. Greatful that you were part of our lives and family these past four years. Birthdays. Holidays, Concerts, the ballet, amazing meals, quiet talks, trying to beat you to the dinner bill! I will cherish the memories."
"We were all very saddened to hear of Holbrook's passing. Holbrook provided great advice and encouragement to our cancer drug discovery company throughout our time working together. We will miss his energy, spirit and scientific enthusiasm."
"To Dr. Kourtney and Ms. Kidd,
There are not enough words to express the sympathy felt of losing a loved one, especially the loss of a child, no matter the age. As a father of four, I can only imagine your pain. Hearing how Dr. Kohrt lived his life in a self sacrificing way and not let his own illness stop his desire to help others is truly inspiring and heart warming. The Bible offers beautiful and encouraging words of comfort that made me think of him and your hope of seeing him again in the future. Isiah 33-24- "No resident will say : "I am sick." immediately came to mind because of his endurance. And Revelation 21:4- " He will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." came to mind to remind you that your loss is temporary and your hope of seeing him again is real. I hope these words are a comfort to you and even though I have never met your son, his life story has truly touched me, as I'm sure countless others. He has a beautiful legacy and his life is a testament to how wonderful you raised him. Stay strong and keep looking forward to the day when you will again see your boy resting by that happy tree."
"Holbrook Kohrt was a brilliant, kind, witty, and passionate man with a drive and a fire for scientific advancement unlike any I've ever seen. I remember fondly late nights in the Levy Lab with your funky indie electro music blasting while you handle 100x the amount of things I had going on under my hood...Your magnanimous spirit despite the intensity at which you worked and lived, and despite the hardship you endured in life will stand firmly in my mind as a guidepost for how to be cool, loving, and an absolute joy to be around regardless of how high the stakes (from cancer clinical trials to patient care), and regardless of how little sleep you might be running on. You're a true inspiration. Condolences to family, friends, and colleagues. Rest in Peace my man."
"Words can never adequately convey our feelings at this time of sadness to comfort you in the loss of Brook , We are thinking of you and your family. Always leave room in your heart for angels to dance.
Stephanie and all the Zuvic's"
"Initially I barely knew Holbrook nor did I have cause to. Traditionally the concierge of a Hotel apartment can be overlooked. We met in the summer of 2015 while I was arranging his London accommodation, he was a sensible chap with an underlying humour which was easily noticeable but more obviously his manors caught my eye; something I value highly which sadly on occasion can be lacking in some.
What started as sharing pleasantries turned into sharing chocolates and eventually a cheeky gin. We met each morning as he passed my desk and each evening as he returned home. We talked, we laughed, we were normal. I have always been prepared to act comfortable in anyone’s company but with Holbrook there was no need, his attitude towards life and people easily afforded me a comfort not readily available with other guests I looked after.
I have no doubt that he was a brilliant man but I knew him only as a kind man who showed a sincere interest in everyone he met and for their happiness and welfare.
I knew he was loved, I saw that each time I met a member of his family or his friends and I know he will be missed."
"Blessed with your friendship, inspired by your advise, I am left in sadness and awe. As a most original thinker and with enormous energy, you dedicated every talent you had to helping others. I mourn your passing but will celebrate your life. Forever."
"Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel. Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
With sincere sympathy,
Shylah, Sonya & Henry (friends of Kendra's)"
"David, my husband, met Dr. Khort- and his dog - as a patient in the lymphoma clinic at Stanford. While Dr.Khort was clearly a brilliant scientist, he was also a compassionate and insightful clinician, and he had a great sense of humor. Dr. Khort could quickly and clearly explain the most complex medical issues and treatments with a diagram and a few words. David and Dr Khort became friends and found time to meet outside the clinic. After Dr. Khort had surgery for his leg, David and Dr.Khort would engage in humorous exchanges about meeting their challenges when they met at clinic. They continued these exchanges by e-mail while Dr. Khort was in Europe. David appreciated Dr. Khort's typical straight to the point comments on David's treatments, and David did his best to bring some humor to Dr. Khort's circumstances. David passed away on November 22, 2015. Dr. Khort kindly related to me how David had made him smile. Dr. Khort, as well as David, had previously always made it through extreme symptoms. I was shocked and saddened to learn of Dr. Khort's passing, and more so when I learned that he had finally been able to travel from Europe. Dr. Khort's tenacity in confronting his own medical issues, his continued interest in David's treatment, and his sense of humor were an inspiration to David and great comfort to me. Jean Bordon"
""Hey man", Hey Holbrook,
I love the moments when I meet someone I admire. In few cases they exceed my expectations. You were far above this treshold, now sitting on the stump of the giving tree next to the little boy.
You always reminded me about what's important in this world. More important to give then receive. More important to love life than anything else. At the end we are a sum of our experiences and moments shared with others.
Sad, sad so sad to let you go. Sometimes these make so little sense today. I hope we find some sense some peace some healing with time.
"Always keep the spirit high", I love you, your friend forever.-ydm"
"I first met Holbrook when he took a quizical look at my ASCO poster in 2009. I wondered who this guy was, so smart and, surprisingly, a good dresser (it was ASCO after all). 4 months later I really met Holbrook as we sat next to each other for 7 days straight during the ASH CRTI workshop. It was a week of intense exposure - but it only took me a few hours to figure out that Holbrook was in a league of his own. I was floored by everything he had accomplished in such a short amount of time - and we were only fellows!
Over the next few years I grew to admire and be in awe of his continued multi-dimensional growth. He was my "conference friend" - you know, the ones you always catch up with at conferences... but he was more than just that. I saw in him an intensity and motivation that I could only aspire to emulate. I knew he had reached the next echelon when senior faculty at my cancer center started quoting his work as seminal findings. I would always chuckle at the back of the room and say "hey I know that guy!! He's my friend!!"
As our careers and paths progressed over these short 7 years I saw Holbrook develop multiple interests and collaborations. I envied his jet-setting status. But no matter how much of a rock star he was, he was still supportive of my (in comparison) small strides.
Holbrook's passing has haunted me and I still kind of don't believe it. He has reminded me not to take health, life or the privilege of work for granted. Reading his life story in full makes this more apparent to me than ever before.
Holbrook- you will be missed.
"We extend our condolences to Holbrook's friends and family, and all those who had the honour of working alongside him. We are proud to have known and worked with him, and so played a small part in his legacy. Annals of Oncology - Editorial team"
"I mainly knew Holbrook as an advisor on developments in immune-oncology. I quickly developed great respect for him both as a person and someone making very real and important benefits to field of medicine and to mankind as a whole.
Learning of his passing hit me sadness that one would feel with the falling of a military officer in battle. Holbrook was a rare, driven leader in the pursuit of making cancer a chronic condition for millions globally. During Holbrook’s short time with us he accomplished more than many scientists do in a lifetime. The number of people he has inspired cannot be counted and he will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones."
"Holbrook you will always be my loved and cherished co-founder of OvaCure.org, and we will keep working for your shatp mission to Cure Ovarian Cancer.
You were an outstanding man. The kindest, smartest, hardworking mastermind. Always thinking of helping others, how to cure cancer. Your creative and strategic intelligence was unique and behind so much innovation and has saved so many. Always eager to help. And always ready to find solutions for any problem.
I will miss your brightness, sharp brain, smile, charm and good looks. I will cherish our memories and work for our vision.
"Dear Holbrook, I was privileged to have had you in my life the last years. You made me feel confident and at ease during treatment. I could focus on getting better because I could rely on you, 24/7, although you were fighting your own battle. You were an exceptional , yet modest doctor and a warm friend at the same time. A unique combination ! Lots of love, Tine"
"Artists and scientists know that creativity thrives under limits. Within his own constrictions, Brook's intelligence and drive and heart fueled his imagination and he created. He created a life, and friendships, and solutions to problems, and discovered new, even more complex problems to challenge himself. We always want more of what makes us happy, of what challenges us and advances us, and so the loss that we feel at Brook's passing is every child's cry of "More!" We wanted more."
"Dear Holbrook, it seems like an eternity since we had the time and ability to walk, talk and share a cup of coffee, That time seems to be so far in the past but so close and dear in my memories and my heart. I've always thought of you as a dear friend, loving young man, caring physician and a passionate researcher. And though I know that you're in a much better place then you have been for a long time, I, as so many others, will miss you each day. I can only pray that our paths will once again cross on other shores and we can take up those long conversations and good times. And, oh yea, hopefully there'll be coffee."
"Although we didn't know "Brook" personally, we know Al and Lois, and want to express our sympathy to the entire family. You can be proud that he made a difference and enriched so many lives. Sending you love and prayers. Deanna and Mark Reuben"
"Just before he died, Holbrook described to me his "happiness quotient" = (amount of happiness generated)/(cost to generate that happiness). He gave a baby's smile as the "gold standard" - very large numerator and minimal denominator. He was concerned by the amount of effort people were making to help him with his health battles. I tried to explain to him that the Holbrook numerator, in my view, was infinite. That he did not realize how powerfully he impacted people - brought them joy, hope, happiness, and health. He literally improved the world by being part of it, certainly through his many tremendous and impressive accomplishments, but equally through his relentless kindness toward, attention to, and investment in others. I hope that each of us will treasure his impact on our lives, and to honor his memory by trying to be just a little bit more like him. Miss him so much."
"I had the incredible honor and privilege of collaborating with Holbrook. He was a brilliant scientist with a mind like a steel trap. His passion for science, finding the cure, was so infectious and so disarming, one didn't feel intimidated to be discussing stuff with him given his immense knowledge and understanding of the field. And he always shared his insights and knowledge generously. We will certainly miss him so much, all of those who knew him in any capacity. My deepest sympathies to his parents and family."
"Hello, My name is Casey. I didn't know Mr. Holbrook personally, but after reading the article about him and his accomplishments, I was touched personally.
You see, my uncle has a condition similar to hemophilia, so this is something that touches close to home to me. I'm sure that the research that he has done will help people like my uncle in the future, and I would love to thank him and everyone that helped Mr. Holbrook with his research.
He seemed like a Hard working, dedicated, but fun and life loving young man who had a positive outlook despite the challenges and transgressions that he face through his life. It's so sad that the world was deprived of such a young and bright mind.
Some words of encouragement that help me when I think of my uncle, or any other friend or family member of mine that has any infirmaries, is "death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4). John 5: 28 and 29 also mentions how we can see those that we have lost alive and well, and very soon. I hope that these words find you well and bring you the comfort that they have brought me."
"I had the pleasure of knowing Brook during our days at Muhlenberg. I am so saddened to hear of this tragic news. Not only was his intelligence on a higher level than anyone I have ever known or will ever know, he also had the biggest, warmest heart. I feel honored to have called him a friend and I remember so many great times that we shared. I am a better person to have known him and learned from him.
To his family and friends: may your memories of this amazing individual bring you peace and comfort."
"Holbrook was highly esteemed as scientific advisor and research collaborator of Alligator. Holbrook and his research group at Stanford have been instrumental for Alligator's commitment to develop the next generation bispecific immune activating antibodies. It has been a true privilege to work with one of the most inspirational, creative and fearless scientist in this field and we are all deeply saddened that he is no longer with us and will miss him both as a colleague and friend."
"To Holbrook's family: I am coming back from a Damon Runyon Cancer meeting in NJ, and everyone was talking about how much they will miss him and how much he contributed to cancer research. What a great guy, and it makes saying good bye (for now) all the harder. What an incredible family you are. My thoughts are with you and I thank you for raising such a wonderful and caring son, brother, and friend. He has inspired a generation of physician scientists. His legacy will live on."
"Geographical logistics prevented an in-person meeting, and our schedules in San Francisco and London couldn't align. I ran across Holbrook in the Stanford article and thought this is a man I need to get to know- 20 years younger and similar life experiences. We had several long telephone conversations on emerging treatment options to attempt to manage some intractable complications, and during the course of these talks I came to appreciate his dispassionate ability to critically analyze and interpret complex medical situations, sift through conflicting data, and emerge with testable hypotheses directly related to his complicated course. Wow! Given our commonalities, and the rarity of meeting someone like him, I truly wish I had more time with this remarkable man."
"I did not know Edwin personally, but I know both Alan and Lois well, having worked with both at Children's Atlanta. They are wonderful people and my heart goes out to them. I wish I had met Edwin. Alan and Lois please accept my heartfelt condolences"
"We love people throughout our lives, no matter how the relationship ends. We were too young for marriage and wanted different things- you were on a path for the extraordinary. I never got a chance to thank you, Brook, for the life experiences and many ways you have shaped my life today. For that I am grateful. May you rest in peace knowing how many peoples lives you have touched and saved (and will save) through your brilliant research. Your light will continue to shine and you will forever be in my heart."
"A common friend and colleague, Nacho Melero, introduced me to Holbrook a few years ago as Holbrook was writing an editorial about two papers we had just published. Since then I met Holbrook many times at scientific meetings, workshops, and retreats as we were both very involved in cancer immunotherapy and very active in the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Despite his relatively young age, his presence was reassuring, his vision inspiring, his approach to science honest and fearless, and his dedication to curing cancer relentless. He was one of the rare people I met in my life who displayed a natural leadership totally unfettered by his ego, perhaps because he never took life for guaranteed.
Just a few months ago, when he was in London fighting for his life, we had a long conversation on the phone about a new immunotherapy approach for cancer, a collaboration that we will never be able to start, very unfortunately. In his short life Holbrook had a big impact and I feel fortunate to have met him.
During a conference in Doha last spring I visited with Holbrook the art center in the historical market, Souq Waqif. There, I took a picture of a painting showing a little girl who makes soap bubbles that transform the gray and sad place around her into a mysterious and magical one. To me it symbolizes the hope that keeps us going even in the darkest moments. Holbrook really liked the painting, and I uploaded here the picture as a posthumous present to him. May the sense of hope that he inspired in so many people live forever."
Your light will shine forever. You have touched so many lives in so many levels. Truly an inspiration. Such a beautiful mind, who is now shining above us with the rest of the stars. I will never forget the day I saw you driving your truck, giving a young cancer patient a ride. May you rest in eternal happiness with the Lord by your side. Jacqueline Chavez"
"On behalf of the entire team at Prima BioMed we are so sorry to hear of Holbrook's passing. Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and patients. We remember and thank him for all that he contributed to our company and to science and medicine. Rest peacefully."
"Marylou and Alan, I am so very sorry for your loss. I have thought of him often, it's amazing the contributions he has made in his field. You both raised an amazing young man. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family."
"We will always remember Holbrook as a wonderful, cheerful and brilliant friend and scientist. Rest in peace.
Georg Beilhack and Rossella Monteforte"
"I had the good fortune of sharing our fellowship training together...such an amazing person, friend, very driven and accomplished at such young age and in such short time....enjoyed his company inside and outside the clinics...it is so sad that we lost this great person...but has lot of us everywhere enthused to do the best for our patient and science. May he rest in peace with the fulfillment of having given it all..."
"A white helmet, tons of stickers, a rambunctious little boy who, like other kids, wanted to run and jump. He did, and learned young to identify a bleed into a knee or elbow. I remember when he did his own transfusions...such a little boy still. I surely remember his kindness to all and the sweet voice he had. His and Brandon's craziness about Star Wars with a basement room set apart for their magical world. I remember Brook's brightness even as a little boy. Reading all he has accomplished, and the many minds and hearts he has touched, does not surprise me. He will be sorely missed, I am sure, but leaves a legacy that will reach many in times ahead. Rest peacefully, Brook."
"I cannot remember when I met Holbrook or how we became friends but we became fast friends. I remember that he was always calm, cool, and collected. Always with a plan. When he was ill his initial email stated that "This does not mean lab is off the hook for experiments," Straight to the point. His Neshama will always be an inspiration to me. You're missed my friend.
"somedays the tortoise, somedays the hare, regardless, with persistence we will get there, to the chance to cure, and with the heart to heal" Brilliant
"I will always be in awe and appreciation of your incredible kindness and generosity, sharing your talented mind, precious time and energy when working together. Even without meeting you in person, there is no ocean, time-zone or distance that could dim your brilliance. I will forever feel privileged to have had the chance to work with someone as superhuman as yourself.
My deepest condolences to your family and loved ones."
"I met Dr. Kohrt while on his stay here at the Parrot Cay Resort and Spa almost everyday since I met him I saw the need to help him out.. He was a very kind and patient man... So sad that he is gone.. I really fell in love with him.. Sleep on Dr. Kohrt I love you and miss you. Condolences to the family. Have my sympathy."
"I first met Holbrook eight years ago when he was a postdoc in the Levy lab and eventually he became one of my bosses as well as a friend. My heart is heavy to think I will never send him another email filled with cool links and pictures of my garden. Holbrook gave the best hugs, the biggest smiles and he always had encouraging words at the ready. I will miss you so, my International Man of Mystery."
"I met Holbrook just two weeks before he died, at the breakfast buffet in Parrot Cay. He showed me how the toaster worked. I found out over the ensuing days that this man had spent the best part of his life showing people the way; showing us how to do stuff seismically more complex and important than turning bread crispy-brown. Holbrook was a man who was changing the world for all of us, blazing a trail for treatments that will save millions of lives. He was also a man who, even as his health was visibly fading, provided the most humane, generous and entertaining company. I feel so privileged to have met him – as Maria B wrote below, the most incredible person I will ever meet – and also bitterly sad that it has turned out to be a once-only experience."
"Holbrook was a bright star in oncology, a rare combination of brilliant researcher, insightful clinician, and truly thoughtful human being. You will be greatly missed in so many ways."
""Hey man" is the first thing you would say at each occasion that we met, standardly followed by a warm hug between alikeminded friends. Very much impressed by your CV before we actually met, I was completely overwhelmed by your down-to-earth genuinity and respect to all that you interacted with. More than as a brilliant scientist and caring clinician, I got to know you as an incredibly generous friend with whom you could spend the little remaining 'non-working' time enjoying life with great food, drinks, music and lots of stories. Each moment that we spent together, be it in San Francisco, Melbourne, Brussels, Ghent or Paris, you boosted my motivation in the quest for our ultimate common goal: to make a meaningful difference for cancer patients and to make this world a better place. You will continue to be a rich source of inspiration for me and many others - we will try to keep calm. The idea that the last hug has been exchanged is still so unreal to me, but I do know that you will live on in the heart of many (including myself) while being a relentless motivational spirit. As always, I want to say goodbye with my standard phrase: 'take care'! Rest well my dear friend! I will miss you forever. Arne"
"It was almost 5 years ago when I first met you in Belgium for our PX-RCT meeting. Your intelligence, drive, passion and devotion to medical research inspired all of us. You worked so hard with such strength, and I often refers you as the guy who never sleeps. You showed me another side of you when you visited Melbourne 3 years ago, you were talking to your patient back in US for hours trying to help your patient through a difficult time with such caring and dedication. You had such conscious courage living with the condition, tremendous strength of spirit, and lived fully with the time you had, and with such outstanding achievements which even a normal healthy person can’t do. I am deeply grateful to have met you and the privilege worked with you even for a brief period of time. I am still in shock, and can’t begin to comprehend such sad and heart-wrenching news about your passing. The world just lost a brilliant mind and great scientist and physician. You will continue inspire us all with your passion for science and life. Rest in peace for the guy who never sleeps…..."
"Although Holbrook and I had known each other for only three years, it was sufficient time to be exposed to his brilliant and creative personality which was characterized both by his ability to design unique experimental approaches in the medical sciences and to generate a highly original model of re-activation of effectors cells in human cancer therapy.
I hope to be able to contribute to maintaining his projects in activity and am willing to take part in any initiative proposed by his family or University to keep his name alive."
"Holbrook was a shining light and has inspired us all with his marvelous devotion to science and patients and by his warmhearted collegial presence. I deeply mourn the fact that I will never see him again."
"I knew Brook as a Cub Scout and I was his den mother. I remember how quickly he earned his merit badges, and I remember attending the ceremony when he became an Eagle Scout. Even though I knew he was an achiever, I am in awe of all that he has accomplished and contributed.
After reading some of the stories about Brook, I was especially moved by one of his quotes in which he said "Initially there is a very high level of fear when you realize the outcome is out of your hands. You have to choose whether you're going to perseverate on that and feel fear every day, or if you're going to hope and move forward." It is very clear which one he chose."
"Holbrook's smile, enthusiasm, personableness, and intelligence made our month of rounding on the bone marrow transplant infectious disease service together great fun. Plus, as a fellow, having a resident so motivated and put together made my work so much easier! He was also a friend, and I am so sorry the world has lost him, and sorry for what he had to endure- but he did it was such grace."
"Dear Dr. Kohrt, I consider it a blessing to have got a position in your lab. But unfortunately I never got an opportunity to meet you in person. Though our communication was only for the past six months through emails and skype, it was enough to learn the meaning of commitment and dedication towards the task. You are such a wonderful human. You will be greatly missed and this is a great loss to the field of science and medicine."
"I've known Brook since Marylou and I used to take our kids to the school beach every summer for swim lessons. One day I remember my son and Brook playing a simple game together. The wooden paddle with the rubber ball attached by elastic. And thinking 'Great they're having fun, no running, no jumping, no physical contact' And both of them being competitive, it went on for a while seeing who keep their ball going the longest. The next day I found out Brook was taken to the hospital for a bleed in his neck( potentially very dangerous because swelling could press on the arteries) simply from moving his head up and down following the ball. And it hit me like a brick - the daily struggle he and his family went through to just be a kid., the fragility of life, and how blessed we all are who have healthy children. And never to take any of that forgranted."
"Dr. Holbrook Kohrt, you were a great scientist, physician and gentleman. It’s an honor for me to have joined your Lab and collaborated with you. I sincerely appreciate it, and would like to offer my deepest condolences.
You are still within all members of Kohrt’s Lab all over the world. We will keep doing our best with you for cancer patients."
"As a medicine resident, he had the substrate for greatness -- putting 110% into everything he thought about. He continued to do great things in his professional and personal life, and we can only be so grateful that he has made such an impact during his short time in this world. May his inspiration and spirit continue through those who have known him and have been touched by him."
"Larry and I met Holbrook only once, but once was all we needed to know what a wonderful human being was in our midst. Holbrook, with the million dollar smile, made us realize something about life, that a life lived for others was a life worthwhile. We will never forget your generous spirit and your kind and loving heart. Lucy and Larry Cardon"
"It was a great gift to know Holbrook during the past 3 years. Despite his enormous health challenges, he worked both mind and body tirelessly in the quest for immunologic cures of malignancy. He had the unique ability to command the respect of individuals from all levels of science and medicine,catalyzing collaborations and triggering new treatment concepts.
Everything Holbrook did was so fast, I think he knew his time was limited and that his disease would finally take him down. I was surprised to learn he was only 38, considering his professional training and degrees, his lab successes and the broad and deep respect he had already earned. He was generous with his fine intellect and his time, never arrogant, and seemed just as personally concerned about others as others obviously were about him. I am grateful to have shared part of Holbrook's world and will miss him terribly."
"Why did I meet you so late - only one year ago. Every time we met you left me with profound thoughts, a feeling of everything being possible, unlimited resources for giving back, a true fighter and somebody who desperately wanted to live.
You will always live and our friendship has just begun
"It is powerful and refreshing when highly intelligent people value kindness over IQ. Being smart becomes a graceful superpower when held in the palms of compassion."
Holbrook was that person, his genius was an inspiration to anyone who knew him, and he used his gift well. I was blessed to work with him. We will carry on this luminary work, in his honor. Sincere and heartfelt condolences to those who loved him, and appreciation for his pioneering and timely lifetime work."
"Holbrook, we miss you greatly, you were brilliant in your scientific endeavors, very driven, and just a wonderful, kind, and fun person and colleague. Such a senseless loss and great waste of talent. I promise we will keep your vision alive, and follow through on what we planned together and help many patients. Rest in piece,... but your vision (and memory) shall stay alive!"
"From the first time I met Holbrook, and every time thereafter, I felt as if I were in the presence of a very special human being. He was kind, giving, loving, caring, intelligent, humorous, caustic. He was blessed with the same gene that existed in Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Albert Einstein. A very, very special person."
"Dear Brook, we will always remember you as the most kind, compassionate, enthusiastic and focused little boy that you were in sixth grade, so many years ago. What a brilliant mind you had! Even then, you showed such a profound interest in studying the human body, that we knew you were destined for a GREAT medical career. You reached out to help us when we were worried about the probability of a multiple myeloma diagnosis. Al and I will keep you alive in our memories, with love, forever"
"I wish I could pull myself together and write something more eloquent, but nothing will compare to those who knew Holbrook best: as a son, brother, colleague, friend. Unfortunately I met Brook later in life and I am the lesser person for it. He was a selfless, compassionate, loving friend to my extended family. I will never forget his last and extending hug. Rest in eternal peace. Love, Hannah"
"I will always remember Brook as a boy, just one of the many kids in a small town who shared birthday parties, Easter Egg hunts, lake time in the summer, Halloween parades, and waiting in line to sit on Santa's lap at Christmas. The footsteps he took in youth became leaps as an adult. He left an impression both ordinary and extraordinary on everyone who knew him."
"He offered so much kindness, time and respect, even for the ones he knew so little...Was shocked to receive these sad news. My deepest condolences to those who knew him better."
"For a man I will never forget. A man who inspired me to no end. A man whose story I will never cease to tell. So much more than the 38 years he lived. x"
"I never met Holbrook in person. We talked on the phone several times about his work at Stanford in Immuno-oncology. Although not face to face, his personality and his brilliance as a scientist was very captivating. He was incredibly brave battling his disease. He will be missed. Rest well and thank you for the (little) time & great enthusiasm for the science we shared. Christine"
"What an amazing and fascinating man you were. Because of you my son and so many other with hemophilia will have a better life!"
"The first time we met you told me that you and your siblings were not going to spend time in front of the TV and if I was going to succeed as your babysitter we were going to be busy – crafts, reading books, playing outside… You were an independent and ambitious leader at 5yrs old. I knew about the severity of your condition and it certainly made this teenager nervous whenever we were outside running around but at the same time it was obvious this was a challenge to be lived with and you were going to make the most of every day. I was privileged to be close to you and your family from such a young age and see how you managed a chronic illness and your love of science. I believe this deeply influenced me in the direction of my professional life and in my work with individuals and families battling a different severe genetic disease. Be free from hemophilia and all the pain, dance in the glory of all you have accomplished and the pride and love you brought your family, and rest easy knowing your impact to medicine and science will live on in the patients you treated and your colleagues and those yet to benefit from your discoveries and work."
"In a life that was fully lived but not nearly finished, you gave so much to so many. From the exploration of science to the treatment of patients, you inspired, mentored, and modeled a way for me. But most importantly, you showed me what it meant to be a loving friend. You were one of the rare ones Brook and it's my great fortune to have known you. I miss you so much."
"Little did we know that our trip to Turks and Caicos would end up being so much more than just a holiday. My husband and I met Holbrook on our first day there and spent the rest of the week with him before he flew back to Miami. I know many of you have known him all your lives and we knew him for just one short week, but in that week he changed our lives forever. Probably the most incredible person I will ever meet. I told him, as he was leaving, that I was going to stalk him forever. Instead, he will forever be in our hearts."
"Words fail to describe you. From the first moment we met 6 years ago until the last moment beside your bed last week you have inspired and amazed me with your relentless drive and incredible energy as the brilliant scientist but even more as the warm person you were in the search for a cure for cancer, our common goal. This will not end now. I will continue your work together with so many others in honor of your legacy. You will never be forgotten, rest well now my dearest friend. Luc"
"In memory of our friend Holbrook Kohrt.
Holbrook was one of the shining lights in this world- a brilliant scientist, a committed and caring oncologist, a powerful communicator, a patient advocate, a driven investigator and a wonderful friend.
His story is that of a survivor, who overcame terrifying odds to reach adulthood, living through a time when nearly almost all his friends with hemophilia died from HIV. Undoubtably, this experience further fueled his commitment to medicine, and his endless passion to help others suffering from disease.
When I first met Holbrook approximately 12 years ago, he was a first year medical student at Stanford, working a summer job in the lab. His energy, curiosity and kindness were immediately evident in even the simplest interactions. He's someone whose friendship I've cherished since that time.
In the intervening years, he became a world class translational oncologist and immunologist, on the forefront of the revolution in cancer immunotherapy as a member of the Stanford Oncology faculty. Many of us have been energized by one of several engaging talks he's given - either on his work in activating immune responses in cancer patients or on his experiences as a hemophilia patient. Many of his insights as a cancer immunotherapy clinical investigator have become part of the fabric of what we understand about cancer and immunity today.
His passing was sudden and unexpected, and came all too early.
May his spirit continue to live on in all of us he touched.
In memory of Holbrook Kohrt."
"My third brother, the one I admired. I will always regret that I didn't spend more time with you, the warmest but most intelligent human being I have ever known. You didn't deserve one of those prizes, you should have one named after you. It will always be inexplicable how much you cared for other people, especially the times when you were the one who should've gotten care. At least the horrible disease of cancer has had one upside, that it led you to our family. It was an honour and privilege to know you.
Ben Van Hooland - 15yr"
"You were a fountain of inspiration to me and everyone around you. We are forever indebted to your relentless commitment to advancing all forms of research to help patients. You always supported everything our company was passionate about. I was blessed to have known you and thanks for constantly pushing, sharing wisdom and your sense of humor, and creativity. I'm going to miss you my "super model" friend and I promise to continue forging ahead and always give 100%! Peace be with you!"
"Holbrook's dedication to his patients, and keen passion for medical science and discovery in the service of humanity, will continue to be a source of inspiration to me and the many colleagues who will miss him."
"I knew Holbrook first as a mentor…he was a senior mentor year after year in Spectrum’s Intensive Course in Clinical Research, carving a week every year out of a typical Stanford faculty member’s over-committed schedule to tutor budding clinician-scientists in study design…but I also knew him as a passionate advocate for his own study patients. One intense telephone conversation stands out when he thought a patient was being unfairly billed for research-related procedures. The details aren’t important, but Holbrook was right, and we were able to get the charges reversed. Holbrook was also one of the most fastidious people I’ve known…just the sort of careful doctor you want watching over your own care. I remember sitting near him as we both audited Rita Popat’s ever-popular HRP225, and his laptop was actually gleaming, it had to be brand new. But when I saw when class was over how carefully, almost reverentially, he dusted it and packed it up, it was obvious that here was a man who knew how important it is to be careful and take good care of things as well as people. I don’t think many of us were aware of his declining health. We all knew about his primary medical problems…he never shied away from telling us about what he was grappling with…but always with a shrug and a smile, as if he wanted to be sure we wouldn’t worry about him. To those who were much closer than I to this remarkable young man, I want to express my sincere sympathy for your loss. But for the rest of us, who knew him just enough to really like and admire him and so enjoy his company, we feel his loss with you.
"Holbrook’s mission was to ensure that cancer patients have access to better immunotherapy treatments and spearheaded his research to provide hope to cancer patients He was fiercely passionate about translating his research into clinical practice. We will continue to carry on his legacy by committing ourselves to cancer immunotherapy research."
"Holbrook you were so much more than just a brilliant mind. I will always remember how intensely you loved. You filled our chief room with treats and goodies because you loved our girl. I remember your visceral happiness while dancing at your wedding. I'm so sorry this life was so unfair. Fly like the wind, pain-free, loving fiercely again. You will be truly missed."
"When I met holbrook during an interview lunch three years ago at Stanford - I was so impressed at absolutely how brilliant, intelligent and vibrant he was and just how incredibly likeable he was - just talking to him I was infected by his ethusiasm for life and medicine and his research. Over the years I had the opportunity to work with him and hear him speak. He was a great public speaker and he did a lot for the world of medicine, immunotherapy and oncology. He was truly respected and valued for his knowledge, research and insight and a wonderful collaborator. I was shocked and just devastated to hear of his passing and the world has suffered a tremendous loss. Having met holbrook, one will never forget him or the positive impact he has had on all the people around him- his colleagues, his friends and his patients. I know he will live on in my memories and all those that he touched. My deepest condolences to all that knew and loved him."
"You were the kindest, most thoughtful mentor and my best friend before being my boss. Your passion and tenacity in making every moment of life fruitful, in agonizing over the cure for cancer patients, in putting everybody's wishes and needs before yours, cannot be described: you have been my inspiration to be a better researcher and a better person since our first meeting, and will remain so. It was an honor to be a member of your team. Amani"
"To my magnificent friend and mentor who was taken so before his time, your brilliance, passion, kindness and curiosity is a never ending inspiration, I was truly blessed to count you as a my friend. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers forever. Andy"
"May the Lord keep you at his side and grant you peace. You were always an inspiration to everyone in everything you did. Ed always said "if he ever had a son, he hoped he would be like you" You two have a lot of catching up to do."
"Generous carer for your patients, everflowing source of energy and knowledge to your field and your colleagues, shining light for our firm, big brother and inspiration to my family, soulmate. I miss you. Bart"