David Thorley-Lawson Obituary

David  Thorley-Lawson
David Thorley-Lawson

February 27, 1949 - June 25, 2017
Born in London, England
Resided in Cambridge, MA
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THORLEY-LAWSON, David Father, Scientist, Friend David A. Thorley-Lawson, Professor of Integrative Physiology and Pathobiology at Tufts University Sackler School of Medicine, died on June 25, 2017 in Cambridge, MA. He was 68. David was born in Kent, England to George and Irene. He earned his bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of East Anglia and completed his doctorate in Biochemistry at the National Institute for Medical Research. There he met Brigitte Huber, who was completing her doctorate in Immunogenetics at the University of London. They married and moved together to Massachusetts, where David continued his training as a postdoctoral researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. David spent his 35-year career at Tufts investigating Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), an important human tumor virus (or, as he would write, tumour virus), which is closely associated with several types of lymphoma. His work provided evidence for a causative link between EBV and tumorigenesis and he was recognized internationally for his contributions to the field. Over the course of his career, David trained more than 30 students and mentored many more. He enjoyed working with students and challenging them to think critically about research and science. His understanding of the literature, keen intellect, and sheer love of science made him a formidable opponent in any debate and an engaging lecturer. David was as large as life, with many passions outside of the lab. He had a great appreciation for theater and literature, especially Shakespeare and David Foster Wallace. He was an inaugural season-ticket holder for the New England Revolution and coached his sons' soccer team for many years. He loved cooking large meals for family and friends and taking long walks in the wilderness. He always played his music loud, be it Pink Floyd or Mahler, and enjoyed playing the recorder. He and his wife travelled widely throughout their lives together, for both work and pleasure. Their home was always open to visiting colleagues, friends, and family, who frequently enjoyed their hospitality for days, weeks, or months at a time. He is remembered by his family, including his wife, children and grandchildren, his many graduate students who carry on his love of science and inquiry, and his friends throughout the world. We mourn his passing as a great loss, but know he is at peace and that his legacy - as a father, as a scientist, as a friend - will never be forgotten. Read more at: http://bit.ly/dtl_memorial A memorial is being planned. For information on the memorial, please email dtl.memorial@gmail.com

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Brown & Hickey Funeral Home
36 Trapelo Road
Belmont, MA US 02478
Sunday, June 25, 2017


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