Fouad Yosrey Shalaby, 67, of Newtown, a pharmaceutical research scientist, died Friday, May 10, of cancer at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne.

Dr. Shalaby battled cancer for more than two years with toughness and dignity, his family wrote in a tribute. “Through chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, and immunotherapy, he did not let the cancer define him,” his family said.

Dr. Shalaby was born in Cairo to Youssef Shalaby and Fatma Ramadan. He immigrated to the United States in 1983 at age 32 because he couldn’t find the academic training and job opportunities to adequately provide for his family in Egypt, his family said.

He began his studies in science at Ain Shams University in Cairo and, once in the United States, completed a doctorate in 1989 in cellular and molecular biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Some of his post-doctoral research was published in the scientific journals Cell and Nature.

Starting in 1995, he spent 14 years as a research scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Lawrence Township, N.J., where he focused on drug discovery and development. His research had therapeutic applications to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as to the fields of oncology and immunology.

From 2009 to 2012, he returned to Cairo to take a job as chief scientific officer and medical writer for the Scientific Development & Biomedical Research Corp. He helped design studies and wrote case reports for publication by MerckSerono researchers. One assignment was to prepare for the 2011 conference of the International Diabetes Foundation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Once back in the United States in 2012, he ran a home consulting business as a science writer and communications specialist. He was also a part-time chemistry professor at Bucks County Community College, Newtown.

On, students registered positive opinions of Dr. Shalaby’s chemistry class.

“I struggled with chemistry a lot in the past,” wrote one last December, “but after I took his class, he made it very easy and clear. He cares a lot about doing good in this class. He would repeat the material 1,000 times, if needed, just to make sure his students understand.”

Dr. Shalaby’s defining trait was being an independent thinker, his family said: “It was that spirit that drove both his passion for science and his desire to seek out a life in America. He frequently challenged accepted norms in the way he lived his life. This could be uncomfortable at times, and he was by no means popular with everyone. But mostly people were drawn to his endearing qualities.”

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Iman Kassem; sons Bassel and Omar; a grandson; and five siblings.

A funeral prayer was said Saturday, May 11, at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey in Monmouth Junction. Interment was in Beulah Cemetery, New Britain.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society via