In Memoriam: Prof. Urs Studer (1944-2023)

The very sad news that Professor Urs Studer from Berne (CH) passed away was a real shock to me. I met him for the last time in April 2022 at the meeting of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS) in Palm Desert (CA, USA).

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 • By former EAU Secretary General Prof. Frans Debruyne
ObituaryStuderDebruyneEAU ExecutiveEAU Scientific Congress CommitteeEAU Board
Prof. Studer receiving the 2011 EAU Willy Gregoir Award from Secretary General Prof. Abrahamsson at the Annual Congress in Vienna.

He was in good shape. He enjoyed seeing and meeting many urological friends, and like always he was active during the meeting as an eloquent but critical commentator on presentations of his interest and experience, i.e. urological cancer. We had long chats there together. He mentioned that his wife passed away but that he was doing well in his own independent way. He looked content and satisfied.

He was in the same spirit as when I first met him some 40 years ago. He was also a young member of the EORTC GU-group, interested in clinical oncological urological research. Very committed, very critical, very collaborative, very strict in his comments and contributions and sometimes preaching like a minister. But his attitude was always very honest, sincere and loyal. What he wanted throughout his whole life was scientific and clinical urological progress in the best possible way. He never lost this way of thinking and behaving.

Urs was also involved in the EAU from the very first days of its re-development and restructuring in the early nineties of the previous century. He contributed tremendously to the EAU’s scientific development as a leading and guiding member of the EAU Scientific Office as from its creation. We spent many hours together under the superb and trusted leadership of Professor Laurent Boccon-Gibot, discussing and debating scientific and clinical developments which should be addressed in EAU congresses and other scientific activities. Together, they were an indisputable couple of sincere scientific leaders. Without them the EAU would never have reached the scientific standards it has today.

Urs was a fierce defender of the best quality possible and he himself set the best example by extensively contributing with scientific or clinically important messages from his scientifically very active department in Berne. In this role he was proposing and defending financial support and contributions from the EAU even when the necessary funds for such activities were not yet available. But these thoughts and approaches finally led to the creation of the EAU Research Foundation which is now a strong funding vehicle for scientific and clinical research within the EAU. All his efforts to improve European urology led ultimately to the more than well-deserved pinnacle in his European urological career: the reception of the EAU Willy Gregoir award, the highest recognition for an European Urologist. I still see his modest but satisfied smile when on stage in Vienna at the occasion of the annual 2011 EAU congress.

Evidently, Urs was a very good urologist. Apart from his scientific interests both clinically and fundamentally, he was a very good clinician and extremely skillful and creative urological surgeon. Just think about the development of the Studer Pouch which is the result of innovative surgical thinking. His urological cancer surgery, which I could admire on many occasions, was performed with extreme dexterity based on a detailed knowledge of the surgical anatomy of all urological organs. This is also reflected in the many important (surgical) publications which he wrote or came out of his department.

Altogether, Urs was to all of us an unforgettable person. He had all the qualities of a true gentleman with his friendly personal attitude, his understanding, his loyalty, his devotion, his investigative spirit, his experiences and interests, his eagerness to learn and share, his leadership and obedience both in the best sense of the words. He was a true and unforgettable friend. Urs was just a real urological giant.

Frans Debruyne
EAU Secretary General, 1992–2004