Whitehead mourns loss of Senator Kennedy

Pictures of Senator Kennedy

In the far picture, U.S. Senator Kennedy with then Speaker of the Mass. House of Rep. Salvatore DiMasi (middle) and Whitehead Director David Page (right) at the stem cell roundtable in 2005. In the near picture, Kennedy with Vice Chair of the Whitehead Board of Directors Susan Whitehead (left) and Kennedy's wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, (right) at Whitehead's 25th anniversary gala.

August 26, 2009

Tags: Awards + Announcements

CAMBRIDGE, Mass — Whitehead Institute, along with the greater scientific research community, lost a great advocate and friend with the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy late Tuesday night. 

Throughout his career in the Senate, Kennedy fought to keep research well-funded and unencumbered by restrictive legislation.  In the 1970s, he fought efforts to ban recombinant DNA research, which is the foundation of the biotechnology industry. More recently, he was an outspoken advocate for human embryonic stem cell research, stating for several years that the federal government should legalize responsible human embryonic stem cell research, and that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should fund such basic research.

Upon learning of Kennedy’s death, Whitehead Director David C. Page issued the following statement:

“Senator Kennedy was an extraordinarily passionate, eloquent, and effective champion of all that the Whitehead Institute strives for -- to advance basic biomedical research, to train the next generation of scientific leaders, and thereby to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation and our world.  We all remember fondly and proudly Senator Kennedy's association with the Whitehead Institute -- his many visits with us, including his hosting a summit of Massachusetts leaders on stem cell research here in 2005 and his inspiring address at our 25th Anniversary Gala in 2007 -- an occasion at which our then-junior Senator Kerry presented him with the Whitehead Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.  We hold all of these memories in our hearts.  My thoughts are also with Senator Kennedy's wife Vicki, with whom I had the honor of sharing dinner at our 25th Anniversary Gala, and all of the Kennedy family.”


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Kennedy brings stem cell quest to Whitehead

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through its faculty, who hold joint MIT appointments.

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