Dean Paras Foundation – Visit their Website

Constantine “Dean” Paras, was a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. While at Vanderbilt, Dean and his team had developed and produced a device for use in parathyroid and thyroid surgery that has been patented and is being produced for use in operating rooms.

Back in the summer of 2011, none of us ever expected the diagnosis we received. Dean was feeling wonderful except for a bit tired, and the nagging “kidney stone” that he thought he had. Unfortunately, it was not a kidney stone, but a neuroendocrine tumor.

​The worst was yet to come, as it turned out to be an aggressive form of this cancer that did not want to let him go, and would continue to grow throughout the coming five months, regardless of the treatments tried.

Dean never lost faith, or his good attitude. He continued to work on finishing his work for his Ph.D., staying in touch with all of his friends and colleagues and even travelling back to Nashville for work and pleasure as he could.

One of his last doctors to treat him, was Dr. Eric Liu, Dean felt sure that Dr. Liu would be able to help him as he was working with Dr. Oberg from Sweden and was making great strides in neuroendocrine research.

Dean almost had the opportunity to study with Dr. Liu when first arriving at Vanderbilt University, but at the last minute the opening was not there, and he went on to work in the optics lab. Oddly enough, he still did endocrine-based research with his design.

Dean’s life was short, but full. His room during his last days was full of many of his friends and family as they all came to be with him one last time.

We hope that by helping to fund further neuroendocrine research we can prevent others from ever having to go through the loss of someone so brilliant and special in their lives as our Dean was in ours.


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