John W. Hadden


Died October 23, 1939 – April 1, 2013,Cold Spring Harbor, NY

College: Timothy Dwight
Major: Psychology
Graduate School: Columbia University, M.D., Physicians & Surgeons, 1965; Roosevelt Hospital, Certificate, Internal Medicine, 1969; University of Minnesota, Post-Doc, Immunology, 1972

Widow: Elba M. Hadden
428 Harbor Road
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724-2108
516-692-6319 (Fax)

Children: John Hadden; II, 1969; Paul, 1975
Grandchildren: John III, 2006; Cole, 2008; Caroline, 2009

John was born on October 23, 1939 and passed away on MOnday, April 1, 2013.

John was a resident of Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

As a fifth generation physician, I was invited to join a Park Avenue practice, but by then I had contracted the research bug (the road less traveled). With my Ph.D. wife as co-worker, we trained in immunology and embarked on a life in academic medicine. I was nine years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as head of the laboratory of Immunopharmacology (study of immunotherapeutic agents) and 18 years at University of San Francisco Medical College as head of a dean’s immunopharmacology program and of a division in the department of medicine.

Along the way, I have had professorial appointments in medicine, pediatrics, pathology, microbiology/immunology, pharmacology, and surgery (no OR). My group averaged eight professionals per year, including trainees (six Ph.D. candidates, 32 post-doctoral fellows). This team produced about a paper or chapter a month over 30 years. The research focused on drugs and biologicals under development for immunotherapy of cancer and infection. The quest was to learn as much as we could about how drugs and biologicals acted on the immune system (250 patients were tested). We even made drugs in the lab, and many (26) patents have been allowed or are pending (26).

I initiated an international society in which I served many posts and helped to organize and publish tri-annual meetings. I was chief editor of the International Journal of Immunopharmacology for 20 years (now International Immunopharmacology). I presented at, chaired, and/or helped organize more than 120 international conferences. I consulted frequently for pharmas, big and small. In 1991 we applied a new immunotherapy to patients with cancer and observed major tumor regressions.

In 1993 I formed a biotech company (IRX Therapeutics,, and we continued clinical work at the National Cancer Center in Mexico City (where we could treat patients prior to surgery). In 1998, I expanded IRX under my son’s leadership and began raising major funds (more than $80 million to date). The company obtained a U.S. F.D.A. investigational drug license and has performed Phase I and II trials. We are currently negotiating a number of pharma partnerships involving several proprietary agents and vaccines to be used in immunotherapy of cancer and infection. It is an exciting time as the field is maturing, and more effective treatments are evolving.

We have traversed many scientific fields in our quest. I have been the beneficiary of an encyclopedic memory (now fading), an appetite to keep learning and a cleverness for inventing by thinking “out of the box.” I have lived my science intensely with my wife, co-workers, and many professional friends.

On July 31, 2010 (46th wedding anniversary), Elba and I celebrated 50 years of “being in love.” We have a wonderful family, two sons with graduate degrees (Harvard and Yale), lovely bright wives with 3 1/3 grandchildren.

We have the satisfaction of many discoveries, scientific and otherwise, and only regret the difficulty of fund raising in the academic sphere and the painful slowness of the process in the biotech sphere.