Husband, Father, Friend

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Extraordinary Scientist

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Passionate Sailor

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Michael Fagersten Gurish, Ph.D., December 17, 1951 - May 31, 2018

Mere words will never do justice to the husband, father and friend, that was Mike Gurish.  He was a goofy, funny, nerd, with a whit and a sense of humor that seemed boundless and ever present.  Mike was compassionate, empathetic, and always there to listen, laugh, or just be.


As a scientist, he had no equal.  He was brilliant and ever inquizitive.  He LOVED science.  He helped countless people battling everything from rheumatic diseases, to allergies, to cancer.  As  Arête’s first Chief Scientific Officer, Mike moved our science forward with near light speed.  His understanding of the innate immune system allowed us to make advancements and understandings that, to this day, no one in the world can match.


In his 31 years in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, he was known as a preeminent mast cell biologist, an immunology professor to first year medical students, a mentor for aspiring scientists in the Boston public schools through the Brigham's Student Success Jobs Program, and the general go-to Mr. Fix-it for almost any of the computer or mechanical equipment in the lab. One of his last comments to his wife was how much he was enjoying his golden years of science—the collaborations, the intellectual stimulation, the lab bench work--simply being, once again, a "lab rat." 


Michael was one of the kindest, supportive, caring people I have ever known. Without Michael we would not have had the opportunities in science to find treatments that will help millions of people. His smile and positivity were infectious. Michael was never happy unless he was helping someone. To  Margaret, Gillian and Ernie , you need to know how much he cared for you and loved you. When I would ask if we could meet after work to collaborate, Michael almost always declined in favor of being home with Margret. As a fellow avid sailor, I can only take some solace in that he passed from us doing what he loved. He is, and will always be, terribly missed. He made the world a better place.

Jack Cowie