Daniel W. Lin, MD-2023 Barringer Medal Recipient
The Benjamin Stockwell Barringer Medal was first offered in 1953 by Mrs. Barringer in memory of her late husband, the originator of the trans-perineal radioactive seed implant for prostate cancer. The medal is to be presented periodically to a younger member of the AAGUS (American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons) who has evidenced outstanding accomplishments in the research of cancer.
Past Barringer medalists include many renown and highly respected researchers in the field. Of the 38 previous recipients, two that are familiar to Quest readers are Dr. William Catalona and Dr. Dan Theodorescu.
The 2023 Barringer award recipient is Daniel W. Lin, MD. Dr. Lin was born in Cleveland, Ohio where his father was attending medical school. His family moved to Kansas City, Kansas when his father joined the faculty at the KU Medical Center in the pathology department.
Dan Lin grew up in Kansas and attended Shawnee Mission East schools. A natural athlete he played soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball, and ran track, as well as enjoying fishing. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather; he was a gifted cellist.
By the time Dr. Lin went to college, he knew his calling was medicine. Dan attended Stanford University and as an undergraduate student became a devoted Stanford Cardinal fan and made enduring friendships.
Dr. Lin studied medicine at Vanderbilt University, and was class president. Drs. Michael Koch and Jay Smith took him under their wings and with their influence, and his love of surgery and research, he was persuaded that “urology was the field for him.”
At the University of Washington in Seattle, while completing his urology residency, he met his future wife, Kristi Gustafson. Soulmates, they shared their faith, passion for work, love of travel, family and also competing in sports. In Seattle, Dr. Lin met another role model, and life-long mentor, Dr. Paul Lange, who inspired him to go into oncology.
One year after their marriage, they moved from Seattle to New York City for Dan’s urologic oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Following this fellowship, Dan and Kristi returned to their home, Seattle.
Competitive running is a passion of Dan and Kristi, running over 100 races together, including the New York City Marathon, 3 times.
Dr. Lin is from a family of teachers. His mother, wife Kristi, and her parents are all teachers. The teaching of his patients is what he considers most important and is the most rewarding for him. “Educating a patient for his or her options for their cancer about what to expect in the big picture, whether that’s about their surgery or after surgery or their general well-being later I consider that to be an important part of their care,” he said. “The meaning of the word physician is ‘teacher.’ I embrace that.”
Dan and Kristi have three children; Steven now 21 years old, David, 19 and Emily, 17. As a family, they have traveled the world (shown below). Machu Picchu, Peru, Wimbledon, and the eternal city, Rome.
Dr. Lin is a Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology and Pritt Family Endowed Chair in Prostate Cancer Research at the University of Washington. He is the Director of the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research. He is co-leader of the Prostate Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is the recipient of multiple grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense.
Looking at prostate cancer in general, Dr. Lin knows the future lies in what can be achieved in research. His research interests include molecular/genomic biomarkers for aggressive prostate cancer. He states that “some cancers never progress or cause harm; some grow and progress. We can’t determine which ones are which based on clinical factors and pathology alone. We are trying to use biomarkers to predict how prostate cancer behaves.”
Dr. Lin is respected and loved by his peers, and has won the mentor-teaching award voted by the residents, on multiple occasions. His academic accomplishments are numerous and include awards in the teaching, service, clinical and research realms.