Mike was born in
Mike graduated from
In 1995, he became Director
Mike was a prominent cancer researcher, publishing several hundred journal articles, book chapters and abstracts and holding five patents. He did pioneering work establishing the mechanism of action of several drugs, including cyclophosphamide, one of the first and most commonly used anticancer agents. He was one of the first investigators to use high dose cyclophosphamide to treat solid tumors, now a common practice in bone marrow transplantation for breast and other cancers. His work contributed to the development of current stem cell therapies.
He served on the Executive Board of the American Association of Cancer Research and on the Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Heath Center for Scientific Review, which oversees NIH grant review and funding. He was co-editor of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and served on the advisory boards of several cancer centers, including that of his medical school alma mater. He received numerous honors, including election to Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha and the Association of American Physicians. In 2003, he received the R. Wayne Rundles, MD, Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.
Mike recognized the overwhelming impact cancer has on patients and their families and was a strong advocate for patient support services. He served on the Advisory Board of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program and the Duke Caring House Board. Mike was a dedicated teacher and mentor; his first thought was always how he could help advance the careers of his students and colleagues. He was widely respected for his leadership style, which combined a thoughtful and calm demeanor with a dry sense of humor and a sincere interest in the needs of others.
Mike and Arline Macey (Lockerbie) Colvin, his wife of 53 years, have four children: Michael and his wife Phung and daughter Kate of Merced, Calif.; Jennifer of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Kimberly and her husband Kevin and daughters Erin and Clare of Graham, N.C.; Christopher and his wife Stephanie and twins Ellie and Jack of Brooklyn, NY. He is also survived by a sister-in-law Rita Lockerbie and nephews Stuart and Craig and their families.
Mike is fondly remembered by his four children as a caring dad who always found time to participate in their activities, help with school projects and take family vacations. He coached softball and soccer for years and virtually never missed a diving meet, lacrosse game, recital or school event. He also enjoyed running, bird watching, reading history and literature, and listening to classical music and jazz.
A memorial reception to honor his life and contributions is to be held on Wednesday, April 3, from to , in the Vista Room of the Washington Duke Inn.
The Colvin family is under
the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service,