Remembering Dr. Fred Gentili

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The Krembil Research Institute remembers the life and legacy of neurosurgeon Dr. Fred Gentili.
Posted On: January 20, 2022
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Dr. Fred Gentili was a world-class neurosurgeon and a trailblazer in skull base surgery.

University Health Network (UHN) neurosurgeon, Dr. Fred Gentili, died on January 15, 2022, of glioblastoma—an aggressive brain cancer for which he treated many of his patients.

Dr. Gentili specialized in skull base surgery, pituitary surgery and radiosurgery. He completed neurosurgical training at the University of Toronto in 1980 and joined the neurosurgical staff at Toronto General Hospital in 1982.

At the time of his death, Dr. Gentili was a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a Clinician Investigator at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He authored more than 100 publications and over 25 book chapters, and received numerous awards and honours, including the inaugural Gold Medal of Honour from the World Federation of Skull Base Societies.

Dr. Gentili touched the lives of innumerable colleagues and patients, and his legacy of surgical innovation, research excellence and patient care lives on through the generations of neurosurgeons and scientists whom he trained.

"Fred advanced traditional neurosurgery and he was able to skillfully adapt to changes in the field," says Dr. Alan Hudson, former President and CEO of UHN, and a long-time friend and colleague of Dr. Gentili. "He will always be remembered as the guy who never hesitated to take on the toughest clinical cases."

In a touching tribute video about his career and experience becoming a patient, Dr. Gentili and his colleagues discussed their deepened appreciation of the difficulties that their patients face and emphasized the importance of patient advocacy.

“Following through to true patient advocacy, I think it’s hard work, takes commitment—and everybody should be doing it,” explained Dr. Gentili.

“I think, ultimately, if we’re able to gather as many perspectives as possible, to be guided by those who live through the disease to improve the care that we deliver, then we have it right,” said Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, Co-Director of the Krembil Brain Institute, Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at the Sprott Department of Surgery, and friend and colleague of Dr. Gentili.

To honour Dr. Gentili's illustrious career and legacy, UHN is establishing the Dr. Fred Gentili Skull Base Clinic. Click here to donate to this fund in honour of Dr. Gentili.