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July 30, 2013

In Memoriam: Leo Lefrançois, Ph.D.

I am deeply saddened to announce the unexpected passing of Leo Lefrançois, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Immunology and Director of the Center for Integrated Immunology and Vaccine Research.

Dr. Lefrançois passed away while on a hiking vacation in the Dolomites in northern Italy. He was with his wife, Lynn Puddington, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Immunology and Medicine and six of his close friends, four of whom reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with him in 2009.

Details of a celebration of Dr. Lefrançois’ life will be announced when the arrangements are complete.

Dr. Lefrançois was an accomplished and widely-published scientist at the pinnacle of his career. He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He recently secured a grant of more than $13 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study pathogens, their products, and our immune responses to them. This was one of the largest NIH grants awarded to the UConn Health Center in recent history.

A Bristol native, Dr. Lefrançois joined the UConn Health Center in 1991 and was named Chairman of the Department of Immunology in 2011.

Please join me in extending heartfelt sympathy to Dr. Lefrançois’ current and former mentees, colleagues and friends within the Department of Immunology and the entire UConn Health Center community, as well as to Dr. Puddington, their children, and the extended Lefrançois family throughout Connecticut and the U.S.

Sincerely,

Frank M. Torti
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UConn School of Medicine