Franco Muggia, a drug developer and former director of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, died unexpectedly on Sept. 8.

Muggia continued to practice literally till his final day.

Muggia went into oncology after hearing a Karnofsky lecture. Not the prestigious annual lecture the American Society of Clinical Oncology has named after David A. Karnofsky, but a lecture by Prof. Karnofsky himself, at Cornell Medical College.

“It was the first lecture we had in medical school as freshmen,” Muggia said in a podcast interview with Daniel F. Hayes, a breast cancer expert at the University of Michigan and a former ASCO president, who has recorded a series of interviews with oncology pioneers. “And in our 30th reunion, a few years later, I talked about Karnofsky, how he inspired me to think about the clinical matters in cancer and his performance status evaluation. I remember that very well. Nobody else did.

“I guess it resonated with me, but not with [others]—mostly surgeons in my medical school.”