Richard E. Peschel, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of therapeutic radiology, passed away on May 4, 2020. He was recognized as a leader in the field of radiation oncology, a dedicated and compassionate clinician, and an outstanding mentor with a remarkable attention to detail. Peschel was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1946 and received a BS in physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. He briefly pursued graduate research in nuclear physics at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California before moving to Yale to work with Allan Bromley in the Department of Physics, receiving his PhD in 1975 and his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine in 1977. After an internship in medicine and a residency in radiation oncology at Yale New Haven Hospital, he joined the faculty of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology in 1981.
He rapidly rose through the faculty ranks, becoming professor in 1991. He held important leadership positions in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology, serving as director of the residency program from 1983-1991 and as medical director of radiation oncology at several network sites, including Uncas-on-Thames Hospital in Norwich, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, and Bridgeport Hospital. He also was director of the Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Community Cancer Center from 2003-2009. He was an international expert in prostate radiation oncology, with an extraordinarily busy clinical practice and more than 300 publications in the medical literature.
Peschel received numerous awards and accolades during his career recognizing his academic contributions and his leadership in the field. He was considered a master clinician by all who interacted with him, and his attention to detail and knowledge of the clinical literature were considered remarkable. He was also an outstanding educator, mentoring many medical students, residents, and junior faculty over the years.
Peschel was also an avid lover of opera music and a passionate fan of University of Wisconsin football. He is survived by his wife Charlene Peschel, his daughter Collette and his beloved canine companion Chloe.