Dr. Ondrej Hes (1968 - 2022)
Sat, 02 Jul 2022

Ondrej Hes


It is with greatest sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Ondrej Hes. Ondrej, fondly known as Ondra. He suffered a stroke on his morning run (his usual “commute”) to work in Plzen, Czech Republic, and passed away on July 2, 2022.

The genitourinary pathology community around the world mourns the loss of our great friend and colleague, a giant and scholar in the field of genitourinary pathology, a mentor, a teacher, and a colleague to many, and a true gentleman.

The full tribute can be found here: https://gupathsociety.org/Ondrej-Hes

He was simply – Ondra – to all of us who had the privilege and the opportunity to know him. Although many attributes can be ascribed to him, probably the truest one is that Ondra was a great human being! He was kind, modest, humble, always eager to help and accommodate, most generous in sharing his time, knowledge and wisdom with everyone he met. He would not say “no” or “can’t” to anyone, which stemmed from his life philosophy of “giving”. He always had a smile on his face, looking on the bright side of the world.

Ondra was a world-renowned pathologist, particularly known for his work on renal tumors. He published over 400 peer-reviewed papers. His relentless dedication to his professional work resulted in the creation of likely the largest kidney tumor registry in the world in the city he called home, Plzen, Czech Republic, where he spent his whole professional life. This foundational effort resulted in the recognition of many new renal entities and variants, now diagnosed daily by many pathologists, for the benefit of the patients. He referred unclassifiable renal tumors as his “orphans”, and was always on the lookout to find “families” for them. His guiding principles as a scholar were his open-mindedness and rigorous evaluation of the quality of the data and the strength of the evidence. Most recently, he spearheaded the work on the GUPS consensus papers on renal neoplasia and authored several chapters in the new 5th edition of the WHO Classification of Genitourinary Tumors. It is less known that he was also an avid naturalist, passionately dedicated to the preservation of the natural habitat for many species in the Czech Republic. In his youth, he was also a talented athlete, and remained an avid runner, cyclist, and skier his whole life.

He was one of the pillars of the international uropathology community and of GUPS. He chaired the GUPS International Outreach Committee, and he was the first official GUPS Ambassador. He hosted and organized five great scientific and educational genitourinary pathology meetings in the Czech Republic, also known as the “Kidney Tumor Friends (KTF)” meetings. Despite his premature death, Ondra’s life’s work and legacy will live on as an inspiration, a lasting memory, and an example of a life well lived - to be cherished, emulated, and aspired to. On behalf of the pathology community around the world that is greatly indebted to Dr. Hes, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Mirka, his sons Martin and Marek, and his whole family.