University News

Doctoral student with cancer dies

St. Laurent III GS dedicated life to co-founding chronic disease research institute

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Georges St. Laurent III GS died Friday in Miami, Florida, announced Jack Elias, dean of medicine and biological sciences, and Peter Weber, dean of the Graduate School, in a campus-wide email Monday.

A Ph.D. candidate in the molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry program, St. Laurent was preparing to defend his thesis when he was diagnosed with lymphoma in July, Elias and Weber wrote.

Prior to coming to Brown, St. Laurent graduated from Yale in 1982 and co-founded the St. Laurent Institute — a medical research institute dedicated to studying the molecular mechanisms of chronic disease — in 2005.

St. Laurent “put aside an already successful career to pursue his passion for science, and it’s tragic that his life was cut short before he was able to take the final step of defending his thesis,” wrote Elias in an email to The Herald.

At Brown, St. Laurent conducted his research with Robert Reenan, professor of biology. “He thought pretty far out of the box,” Reenan said. “All of these other life experiences” gave St. Laurent a unique way of approaching scientific questions, he added.

The Chaplain’s Office invites students to an informal memorial gathering Sept. 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. in room 411 of J. Walter Wilson. Plans for a formal memorial service are underway, Elias and Weber wrote.


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