Ondrej Hes (1968-2022)

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.


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.


Dr. Kiril Trpkov

Past President, GUPS

Ondrej Hes (1968-2022) Virtual celebration of life, held on 8th August 2022

Ondra as an environmentalist ...

Outside of his professional work, Ondra was a dedicated environmentalist and devoted his time and efforts to preserve and protect nature. Together with his colleagues from Plzen, Czech Republic, he established the Eden Foundation. Their goal was to protect an area of wetlands that will sustain the biodiversity and the natural habitat. This idea is becoming a reality now – this protected natural area will be called “Ondra’s Wetlands” (“Ondrovy mokřady”). This will be a place where Ondra’s memory and spirit will live forever.

In this video you can see Ondra’s Wetlands, as well as Ondra speaking about their initiative to establish the Eden Foundation:

You can read more about the Eden Foundation here:

Messages and Condolences

It is with greatest sadness to learn of sudden and untimely passing of Professor Ondrej Hes, which is a huge loss to the international genitourinary pathology community. Professor Hes has made outstanding contributions to genitourinary pathology, especially in renal neoplasia. A variety of new types of renal tumors were first recognized and reported by his team.

His erudition and academic achievements are what we will always aspire to. Professor Hes had always been enthusiastic about international exchanges and collaborations. In 2006, he visited the first time the Department of Pathology of Peking University Health Science Center. This visit forged his nearly 2-decade long friendship and collaborations with Chinese pathologists. He was invited to the Progress in GU Pathology Symposium hosted by Peking University Pathology Center in Beijing in 2015, and the Chinese GU Pathology Group Meeting in Hangzhou in 2019. His illuminating lectures on newly recognized renal tumor types, application of immunohistochemistry in renal cell carcinomas, the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of oncocytic renal tumors and other topics are still vivid in our mind. Professor Hes had supported young pathologists from many countries by hosting and mentoring them in Pilsen, Czech Republic, including several beneficiaries from China. He was a marvelous human

being and real gentleman with charm decency and humility. The spirit of Professor Hes will always inspire the Chinese pathologists, especially the GU pathologists, to forge ahead. He will be greatly missed by all of us. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to his family.

A message from Chinese Genitourinary Pathology Group (July 2, 2022)

Ondra was such a lovely person – friendly, helpful, kind, humble, unassuming. I recall I wrote to him some years back to ask about dining in Prague during a vacation – he was ever ready to suggest. And also ever ready to carry out molecular studies on unusual kidney tumours, on his own funding. He will be dearly missed.

Dr. Puay Hoon Tan, Singpore

回忆和 Ondra 相识的日子

我第一次和 Ondra 结缘是在 2004 年。当时在工作中遇到一例非常罕见的肾脏肿


新命名的一个肿瘤 (Mixed epithelial and stromal tumor of the kidney) 很类似,我

当时给这个新肿瘤命名的作者 Dr. Michal Michal 发邮件寻求帮助。Dr. Michal 把

邮件转发给他的同事 Ondra. Ondra 主动和我联系,和我讨论了我的病例,最


态学特点。在他的鼓励下,我在 Virchows Archiv 杂志上发表了我的第一次英文


这件事也开启了我和 Ondra 长达 18 年朋友之间的真挚友谊。2005 年,Ondra

邀请我去捷克他所在的病理系做访问学习。在短短的 10 天的时间里,我跟着他







为观止。在跟他的接触中,我感觉 Ondra 待人非常真诚,非常的友善,是一个





7 月 2 日上午惊闻 Ondra 突然离世,始终无法相信!那么优秀、阳光、热爱

运动的 Ondra 走了,再也见不到了。泪水不断模糊视线,仅以文字记录点滴过往,

纪念良师益友-Ondřej Hes 教授。

Ondra 第一次到访我们病理系早在 2006 年,那时的我在美国 City of Hope 跟


待了他,由此开启了 Ondra 和中国病理医生 16 年的友谊。第二次到访我们系是

2015 年 10 月我组织的国际泌尿病理协会(ISUP)泌尿男性生殖系统(GU)肿

瘤病理进展研讨会,当时是经周敏老师推荐,共邀请了 5 名蜚声国际的泌尿病

理专家,其中包括 Ondra,做了两天 GU 肿瘤领域的专题报告。Ondra 当时讲了



他的文章,很多肾肿瘤的新类型最早报道或命名出自 Hes 教授的团队,像双相型

乳头状肾细胞癌、萎缩肾样病变等等。周老师介绍他是欧洲 renal tumor King,名

副其实。第一次见面,Ondra 送给我一本精美的介绍他所在城市 Plzen 的画册,


快,报告时特意放慢语速,还叮嘱我如果讲得太快,一定手势示意他 slow down。

会后带 Ondra 夫妇和两个儿子去吃了火锅,从病理到美食,相聊甚欢,能看出

Ondra 热爱病理,也热爱生活。之后一直保持邮件联系,我也会请教他一些问题。

在 2016 年 7 月暑假之际,我得以成行去 Ondra 所在的捷克 Plzen 大学病理系

访问学习一个月。期间进行了高级别嗜酸性肾肿瘤 HOT 的研究,尽管后续 EVT


新类型,都归功于 Ondra 的指导。访学期间也有机会看了不少 Ondra 的会诊病例。


瘤诊断库都让我受益匪浅。通过 Ondra 的联系,我参观了汇集了细胞、组织学、

免疫组化和分子诊断的庞大的 biopticka 实验室,仅分子诊断一年约 6 万例,令人

惊叹。Ondra 支持资助很多来自世界各地的病理医生来短期学习,在我们阅片的


Ozlem 和我也成为了朋友。

Ondra 是一个真正的绅士,他待人很真诚周到。访学者的住处、交通都安排

好,让我很受感动。还记得第一次他请我和 Ozlem 吃饭,我面对捷克语的菜谱

一脸茫然,Ondra 很有耐心地为我们介绍捷克的特色美食,询问忌口。Ondra 还

很博学,他驱车带我去了号称世界最美小镇的 Cesky Krumlov(即 CK 小镇),

路途中 Ondra 如数家珍般介绍波希米亚豪族维特克家族和统治长达 300 余年的罗



CK 小镇非常富于文艺气息,有捷克特色木偶博物馆、各种木质玩具店、水晶店、

风格各异的咖啡馆,喜欢小玩意的我流连其中,辛苦 Ondra 等待还能给我建议。

Ondra 还是个相当不错的摄影师,在 CK 小镇给我拍的这张照片很长时间用作我


Ondra 热爱运动,hiking、划艇、滑雪都很擅长,他经常下班后骑车或跑步

回家,运动装备的他笑着和我们挥手再见的身影还似在眼前。Ondra 还很风趣,

和他交谈总会让你开心大笑。从 Ondra 身上,总会让人发现许多闪光的品质,他


2019 年全国泌尿学组年会在杭州召开,滕老师邀请了 Ondra 在内的多名国

际泌尿病理专家前来授课,Ondra 在会议上做了嗜酸细胞肾肿瘤的诊断和鉴别诊

断的精彩报告。再次见面,非常开心,和周老师、英国的 Berney 教授一起泛舟

西湖,欣赏印象西湖实景演出,谈谈学术,也聊聊生活。Ondra 还欢迎我有机会

去 Plzen 参加他组织的 Kidney Tumor Friends 会议。

Ondra 亦师亦友,对于他的离去,我非常难过,我会永远怀念他。



Greetings from Johannesburg. I have such fond memories of the Kidney Tumour Friends meeting that Ondra and Michal organized back in 2017, when I was fortunate enough to meet most of you. I have attached a couple of photos as a reminder of those happier times.
The cruel news of the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Ondra is very hard to digest. One is simply overwhelmed by the sadness of it all. He was one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

Let us keep Mirka, Martin and Marek in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time, and the long road that lies ahead for them.

The world will be a much, much poorer place without Ondrej.

Warm regards,

Dr. Wayne Grayson


Just heard the horrible news of Ondra’s passing. Huge, huge loss. My condolences!

Dr. Victor Reuter


Deeply saddened by the loss of a great man, Dr. Ondrej Hes. It is very sad news and a significant loss. I got to know him closely last October when I was touched by his generosity and hospitality.

Dr. Farshid Siadat


With great sorrow we were informed of the loss of Prof. Ondrej Hes. He was an inspiration to all. One of the top experts for renal tumours, he selflessly spread knowledge, including via the ESP Giordano Fellowship. Our condolences to his loved ones and co-workers.

European Society of Pathology


Prof. Ondřej Hes, excellent, world-renowned uropathologist, specializing especially in kidney tumors. Top athlete, animal expert, incredibly friendly… He left us suddenly on 1/7/2022.

Dr. Milan Hora


Ondra Hes – an amazing friend, an incredible human being, and a proud and honourable global citizen will always be in our hearts…

Dr. Reza Alaghehbandan


True gentleman and great human being! Tragic loss. He will be missed by many. RIP

Dr. Rajal B Shah


Really sad news – a huge loss indeed to GU path and the entire path community . May his soul Rest In Peace.

Dr. Priya Kunju


Such shocking and horribly bad news! Deep condolences to all.

Dr. Rola Saleeb


Literally emailed back ‘n forth about a project w/him just weeks ago such a passionate person. Devastating loss to path community

Dr. Ankur Sangoi


Wishing it was only a dream. Huge thanks to Ondra for his great friendship, will miss him so much.

Dr. Sean Williamson


Ondra Hes was an amazing pathologist who became a firm friend. Here we are in China where I will now treasure a fantastic time we had together. World expert GU pathologist and original thinker, I am devastated. Ondra RIP, with condolences to all family and friends.

Dr. Daniel Berney


This week the world lost a great human being…. Our field lost a brilliant, best in class, leader in renal cancer…. Goodbye Ondrej Hes!…

Dr. George J Netto


Even though I have never met or heard so many of our esteemed mentors but their names and fame are so well known, especially since social media has brought us closer to each other. It always seems like a personal loss. Please accept my sincere condolences .Big loss for the Pathology community.

Dr. Kalyani Bambal


He will be so missed. A loss of a GU Path extraordinaire.

Dr. Brian Robinson


Incredibly sad news. Heartbreaking.

Dr. Michelle Hirsch Donovan


My sincere condolences to you and the entire medical community. Incredible human being. Such a loss.

Dr. Mahmut Akgul


My condolences. May God comfort friends and family!

Dr. Geronimo Junior


I knew Ondra as my husband’s friend and colleague. But I also felt, during the several occasions I have spent time with him (at conference visits) that he was every bit of the amazing person Kiril described in this post. As my most cherished memory of Ondra, I will always smile and be proud of our crazy hike through a water canyon in Jordan, where we had to fight an oncoming river to get to a beautiful waterfall. We were so proud we got to the prized destination, as a team with Asli Yilmaz. Rest in piece my friend. The waters are now calm.

Dr. Biljana Trpkova


I have had only brief email encounters with him but realized what a wonderful person he was from that. Deeply saddened to hear this.

Dr. Paromita Roy


Such a tragic loss for pathology and the world. I am still in shock after hearing this news. Ondrej Hes (Ondra) was a giant in the field but also a wonderful, wonderful person. I am so grateful for what he has taught me and how he has inspired me and so many people i know. Tragic.

Dr. Anthony J Gill


He left us today

@OndraHes , one of the most brilliant and kindest persons I have ever met in my life. I will regret his friendship and sharp mind all my life. Pathology has lost one of the big thinkers, a drama, ununderstandable, life is not fair, pathology is in deepest sorrow.

Dr. Eva Comperat


There are no words. Shocked. What a pity. Blessed memory to him!

Dr. Edie Fridman


Oh my God!!! This is devastating news. I’m so sorry to hear this!!

Dr. Rafael E. Jimenez


So sad. I cannot still believe it.

Dr. Tiziana Salviato


I am deeply saddened by this. An untimely loss to family, friends and scientific community. Very sad for this. RIP

Dr. Maria Rosaria Raspollini


So sad and shocking news. Ondra was a referent for many residents and young pathologist. We have lost an inspiring professional and wonderful person. My condolences for his family and close friends.

Dr. Nadia Espejo


Shocking news. In my brief interactions with him, I found him very knowledgeable, forthcoming and humble person. Great loss for uropathology community. RIP will be missed.

Dr. Seema Kaushal


This is terrible- such a nice person, and so talented. He took Ana and I hiking in Czech Republic, a day we still talk about. A big loss.

Dr. Andrew L. Folpe


Oh my God!!! Hard to believe. Such a wonderful person.

Dr. Isabela Werneck


This is dreadful news. He was so fit.

Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery


A big loss indeed especially to the uropathology community. RIP

Dr. Deepika Sirohi


I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know him but he really seems to be a special person and pathologist.

Dr. John Goldblum


He was such a great force in classifying new renal tumours. A huge loss for the entire community of pathology and oncology. No one knows what’s round the bend. RIP and my most sincere condolences to his wife, sons, friends and family

Dr. Kaushik Kumar Dasgupta


So sorry for the loss of good friend and esteemed pathologist, heart-broken…

Dr. Liang Cheng


This is a tragic loss to his family and the entire GU pathology community. Ondra was a wonderful friend and collaborator with unparalleled intellectual capacity. He was a perfect gentleman, had a great sense of humor, and was also an amazing host. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. 

Dr. Adeboye Osunkoya


Heartbreaking tragedy. Ondra was the most kind, humble and optimistic friend with contagious smile. He made everyone around him feel special. Horrible and unfair loss. Can’t get over it….

Dr. Maria Tretiakova


When I met Ondra Hes in 2019 during my fellowship in Plzen, I had the proof that there is good in the world. Catherine Cusset once said “Il y a des êtres qui se sont si profondément imprimés en nous qu’on porte à jamais leur empreinte.” (“There are beings who have imprinted themselves so deeply on us that we carry their imprint forever”), and I believe Ondra Hes was that being. My condolences to his family.

D. Leila Ali


I have known Ondra for many years since I attended the first meeting of Kidney Tumor Friends in Plzen. The loss of Ondra is a very hard hit for me. Over the years, Ondra and I had many interactions, I learnt a great deal of kidney tumor pathology and many other things from him. In addition to being an outstanding pathologist, he was such a wonderful friend always caring for others. In fact, no other pathologist’s death in recent years has generated such a deep grief in the entire pathology field, not only because he was so young and brilliant, but also because he was such a great person.

Dr. Ximing J Yang


I think we all feel the same sadness and all know how Ondra was not just an excellent pathologist and colleague, but above all, an extraordinary human being. I still can’t believe what happened, but think that we now have an obligation to keep Ondras spirit alive. Ondra helped me personally and Croatian uropathology in so many different levels that whatever I do won’t be enough. He was in Zagreb just a few weeks ago and had plans to come again in 10 days on his way to Adriatic Coast for vacation and now somehow I’m still expecting to see him.

Dr. Monika Ulamec


I have visited Ondra and Plzen several times. I worked with him on different projects and papers, and always wanted to return again and again. Not just because of the excellent collaboration, but because of his personality, kindness, amazing humor, and variety of topics to discuss. Truly a great teacher, collaborator, and most importantly, a great friend and person. I admired his diagnostic and scientific productivity; his commuting by running and cycling; his energy and agility; and his modesty and kindness. For me, those were his superpowers, and I sometimes called him a superhero. On one occasion, I gave him a present—Superman pajamas—to tell him this message.

At our last meeting in Zagreb (June 2022), we talked about his next visit to Bosnia, and we had some projects to discuss. Now, it is hard to believe that this will never happen.

Dr. Faruk Skenderi


Will never forget the moment I found out you were no longer with us. Shivers went down my spine in disbelief. I went to the forest and near a small creek I thought you would like, I cried over you.

I only met you a few months earlier, but in that short time I stayed in Plzen, you’ve made such a big impression on me. Not just as a scientist. No, you were so much more. A loving husband and father, devoted friend, committed mentor, eager explorer, active conservationist…The list of people who have lost you is so long, the pain so great…

My dear Ondra, we all miss you immensely.

To the grieving souls he left behind…

The world has lost Ondra. It will never be the same without him again. It rests upon us to carry on his legacy to the best of our abilities.

…my deepest condolences.

Dr. Ana Bravc


I communicated with him until a few hours before his illness and my last email remained unanswered forever. A loss of a great friend that cannot be compensated (we had an appointment in September to look at “his and my orphan renals” in Plzeň).

My heartfelt condolences to his family, his colleagues in Plzeň and to all of us, his true “KTF” family.

May his soul rest in peace.

Dr. Abbas Agaimy


Exceptional human being, teacher. I’m grateful for having an opportunity to work with you. Thank you Ondra.

Dr. Joanna Rogala