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In memory of Susan Lindquist, PhD

01 October 2016


Susan Lindquist, PhD, a highly accomplished scientific leader and member of the Stowers Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board from 2000 to 2011, passed away on October 27, 2016.

Lindquist was a pioneering scientist in the area of protein folding in health and disease, and was well known for the creativity of her research, the strength of her leadership, and her ability to unify others in a common pursuit of unconventional ideas. She was a member of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Susan was a truly exceptional scientist who made landmark discoveries of broad significance, and she combined this with a passion for mentoring and developing the careers of young scientists,” said Stowers Scientific Director Robb Krumlauf, PhD. “Her impact on the Stowers Institute was enormous.”

Lindquist served a key role on the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board throughout its first decade to help place it on a successful trajectory. “Of particular note, Susan enthusiastically embraced the Institute's determination to make a cordial home for women investigators as well as men,” said Stowers President Emeritus Bill Neaves, PhD. “Susan contributed immensely to the fulfillment of Jim and Virginia Stowers' vision for the Institute."

“Susan was by far the most formative scientific influence in my life,” said Stowers Assistant Investigator Randal Halfmann, PhD, who was a graduate student in Lindquist’s lab at MIT. “She believed that passion, versatility, and breadth of vision are the keys to long-term success. These values have strongly shaped my own thinking.”

Stowers Assistant Investigator Nick Rohner, PhD, considers himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate scientifically with Lindquist and discuss ideas that seemed unlikely at first but often turned out to be game-changing. Stowers Investigator Kausik Si, PhD, agrees, “Susan was in the truest sense of the word an ‘original thinker’ and had the vision to see beyond the obvious.”

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