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David L. Huso, Johns Hopkins scientist, dies

Dr. David L. Huso died Jan. 27.
Dr. David L. Huso died Jan. 27. (Baltimore Sun)

Dr. David L. Huso, a Johns Hopkins scientist and pathologist who worked in cancer research, died Jan. 27 after collapsing at his lab at the school's East Baltimore campus.

The Hereford resident was 59.

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Family members said a medical cause of death has not been determined.

Dr. Huso was an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology and at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

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Born in Aneta, N.D., he was the son of Oscar and Nola Westman Huso, grain and cattle farmers.

He received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Iowa State University and practiced in St. Michael, Minn.

"As a family, we had a strong college ethic. We all were interested in science. Dave, more so than the rest of us. We were all in the 4-H Club. His graduating class had nine students," said his brother, Nathan Huso of Minneapolis, Minn.

"My brothers and I were buying and selling cattle when we were nine or 10 years old," he recalled. "Because of that, Dave became interested in veterinary medicine. He had all kinds of animals — chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle. We had quite a menagerie."

Dr. Huso came to Johns Hopkins in 1984 and completed a fellowship in comparative pathology and a doctorate in molecular microbiology and immunology.

"I would say Dave was a perfect colleague and a cherished friend," said Dr. Harry "Hal" Dietz, a Hopkins professor. "He was a quiet man, but added substance to everything he offered.

"He was warm, generous, keenly intelligent but self deprecating," said Dr. Dietz. "That quality made you comfortable to be in his presence and allowed you to share in his wisdom."

Colleagues said Dr. Huso used mice to study human disease including cancer, kidney and heart disease, systemic inflammation and vascular disease.

"Dad was enthusiastic and optimistic. He was wise and practical," said his daughter, Vienna Huso, a Penn State biochemistry and molecular biology student. "As a father, he was 100 per cent behind us. He was purposeful about being a father. He didn't let us sit back and grow up. He was involved. He came home for dinner to be with us at night, but on Sunday afternoons he'd take us to his lab and involved us in some project, maybe sorting slides."

His daughter also said, "He loved academics and learning, and gave that gift to us. He was good at explaining things."

Dr. Huso also taught graduate students and had a lab at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. After 1999, he worked in a lab at the Broadway campus.

"Much of his work concerned the molecular changes that lead to breast cancer," said a colleague, Dr. Landon S. King, in a statement.

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Dr. Huso held an American College of Veterinary Pathologists Diplomate certificate.

Dr. Linda M.S. Resar, a Hopkins professor, called Dr. Huso "a wonderful friend and close collaborator."

"He was generous, thoughtful, kind, extremely humble, and at the same time, a brilliant scientist," said Dr. Resar. "Dave was also the consummate team player. His wisdom and gentle nature inspired the best in all of us."

Family members said he followed baseball and read extensively. He attended performances at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 20 at Grace Fellowship Church, 9505 Deereco Road in Timonium.

In addition to his daughter and brother, survivors include his wife of 34 years, Angela "Angie" Barmore; three sons, Nicholas "Nick" Huso of Madison, Wisc., Tait Huso of Chicago and Walker Huso of Hereford; his parents, both of North Dakota; another brother, James "Jim" Huso of Aneta; two sisters, Jane Lukens of Aneta and Holly Huso of Minneapolis; and six nieces and nephews.

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