HSPH Professor Killed in Car Accident

Professor of biostatistics Stephen Lagakos joined the faculty more than 30 years ago.

Professor Stephen Lagakos

Stephen Lagakos, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), was killed in a car accident in New Hampshire on October 12. His wife, Regina, and his mother, Helen, were also killed.

Below, the e-mail message sent to the HSPH community by David Hunter, dean for academic affairs:

To: Members of the HSPH community
Re: Professor Stephen Lagakos

It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I bring you news that Prof. Stephen Lagakos died on Monday morning in a head-on auto collision in Peterborough, N.H. His wife Regina and his mother Helen were also killed in the daytime accident, along with the driver of the other car.

Steve, who was 63, joined the faculty at our School more than 30 years ago. He was an international leader in biostatistics and AIDS research and an intellectual leader in the School's Department of Biostatistics where he served for many years as Chair. As Director of the Statistical and DataAnalysisCenter, now the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research, Steve and his colleagues put HSPH at the forefront of the spectacular successes in HIV therapy.

In the last decade Steve had also contributed to extending those benefits to people in developing countries who could not initially access antiretroviral drugs.

He also served as statistical consultant to the New England Journal of Medicine for more than a decade.

Steve educated several generations of biostatistics students, and his many postdoctoral fellows were devoted to him as a kind and compassionate teacher and mentor.

Steve was always generous with his time – both in statistical matters, and also as a citizen of Harvard, having served with good cheer and much wisdom on many committees and given sage advice to many.

Victor De Gruttola, Chair of the Dept. of Biostatistics, recalled to me this evening that what was unique about Steve was that he had strength in every area of biostatistical research: encompassing both the technical aspects and the biomedical context.

Again, he will be much missed by all who knew him.

Steve's death is certainly a terrible and shocking loss to our community. We will provide further details about this tragedy on Tuesday as more becomes known. The School extends its sincere condolences to Prof. Lagakos's surviving family members.

David Hunter
Dean for Academic Affairs


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