Michael Zisman

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This memorial tribute was created to celebrate the life of Michael Zisman. Colleagues, friends and family: please leave memories in the online guestbook (stories, memories, photos, videos). MEMORIAL SERVICE 18 Oct 2015-see Notes, Photos & Videos.

Michael Zisman

Date of Birth:
July 05, 1944
Date of Death:
August 30, 2015
Age:
71
Location:
California, United States

Obituary

Michael Zisman passed away on the morning of Sunday, 30 August 2015.

In August 2013, two years ago, Mike was diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer. He underwent chemotherapy for the next 16 months. With the support of his marvelous oncology team at Stanford Medical Center, under the direction of Dr. Sandy Srinivas, he continued to work full time during this period, often traveling monthly from California to Washington D.C. He beat the odds by being on continuous chemotherapy longer than virtually anyone else.

In April 2015, when the initial chemotherapy was no longer being effective, he became the first person on the West Coast to be accepted into the OPDIVO (nivolumab) immunotherapy clinical trial for bladder cancer. While Mike's cancer did shrink in response to the immunotherapy, he had become very weak. He was having a variety of related problems, including a potential infection, and was taken to the Emergency Ward on August 27th for treatment. Complications arose in the hospital which eventually led to his heart failure on Sunday, August 30th.

The clinical trial team at California Pacific Medical Center (Dr. Ari Baron, his team and the hospital staff) gave superb care to Mike, and never stopped advocating for him. The doctors and staff all knew that he had no other thoughts than to get well and return to his work. We thank both the CPMC and the Stanford medical teams for all their efforts on Mike's behalf.

Throughout his illness Mike, was moved by the kindness and understanding of his colleagues at DOE and LBNL. He did not consider himself a 'sick' person nor as a statistic, and fought the cancer every step of the way, and beat the odds for a very long time. He had a wonderful two years of quality time. He refused to acknowledge the seriousness of his condition (and even managed to convince a few doctors of this). Indeed, he was reluctant to discuss his illness at all. Since we respected his request for privacy in matters pertaining to his health, many friends and family may not have known the full seriousness of his condition.

Mike took his work, responsibilities and desire to contribute seriously. On his last day, he was talking about sending in some reports (even down to the font type and color for the report :) ), about driving his family around and showing appreciation for work from colleagues.

In the words of a fellow scientist, 'Mike was an outstanding colleague who not only cared deeply about the science, but also about the people who make those scientific achievements possible.  He will be sorely missed.'  He would want us to keep those high standards in our care of each other, both at work and with the family. This wish would be a marvelous way to carry his memory forward in our hearts.
 
Mike is survived by his wife, Andrea, his daughter, Nia, his sons, Matt and Tim, and his grandchildren, Arielle, Zachary, Jacob, Sam, and Adam.
 
NOTE 1: Mike's professional obituary, prepared by John Byrd, Program Head of the Center for Beam Physics, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, can be found in the section 'NOTES' above.
 
NOTE 2: A Memorial Service is planned for Sunday, October 18th at 10am. Information can be found in the section 'EVENTS' above.
 
 
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Special Announcement

November 13, 2016Michael Zisman Fund Commemorates His Scientific Passion; Supports Young Researchers

News and Updates:  Today at Berkeley Lab, 2 Nov 2016  A fund has been set up in Michael Zisman's name to further his passion of not only caring deeply about the science, but also about the people who make those scientific achievements possible.A Senior Sc....

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About This Tribute

Tribute created by:
Andrea Chan
Other Tribute administrators:
Creve Maples
Tribute account type:
Memorial Tribute (Lifetime)

Visits to this site: 2653

Latest Tribute Activity

August 31, 2017

Andrea Chan updated the note “Michael Zisman Fund Commemorates His Scientific Passion; Supports Young Researchers”:
“News and Updates:  Today at Berkeley Lab, 2 Nov 2...” 
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August 08, 2017

Harley Schwartz signed the guestbook:
“Mike and I were graduate students together in the ...” 
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April 30, 2016

Joe Sherman signed the guestbook:
“An unspeakable loss. Godspeed, Mike.” 
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December 16, 2015

Elliott Bloom signed the guestbook:
“I worked with Mike many years ago during the desig...” 
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Andrea Chan commented on a photo:
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Andrea Chan added new photos to the album “Memorial Service & Awards”:
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Andrea Chan commented on a photo:
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Andrea Chan added new photos to the album “Photos with Mike”:
Andrea Chan added the note “Homegrown Particle Accelerators”:
“ From KQED Science, 12 Nov 2015: Background of pa...” 
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Andrea Chan added the video “LBNL_Award_2015”:

November 10, 2015

Nicole Mao Longbine signed the guestbook:
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November 09, 2015

Andrea Chan updated the video “Memorial Speech 6-7 - Creve Maples, Rabbi Levy”:

October 15, 2015

Andrea Chan updated the obituary:
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October 14, 2015

Andrea Chan updated the event “Mike Zisman Memorial Service”:
“A memorial service for Mike will be held at Swiss...” 
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October 03, 2015

Andrea Chan updated the event “Mike Zisman Sea Scattering Service”:
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September 14, 2015

Andrea Chan gave a gift:
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September 05, 2015

Andrea Chan gave a gift:
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August 31, 2015

Andrea Chan added an obituary:
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