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Lidia Vasconcelos, an area manager in MIT’s Comparative Medicine (DCM) division, died of cancer on Jan. 29. She was 53 years old.
“Lidia’s captivating smile showed her warmth and love for her family, friends and DCM staff,” said James Fox, director of DCM and professor in the Department of Biological Engineering.
Vasconcelos joined DCM in 1996 and was promoted to Area Supervisor in 2004. In that capacity, she worked with a large team to maintain pristine, state-of-the-art animal facilities, providing guidance and support to DCM’s 90 animal care technicians and many active researchers.
The specific area of Vasconcelos was the Whitehead Institute animal factory with 10 laboratories and approximately 50 active researchers. “Lidia’s work ethic and professional demeanor have made her an extremely valuable asset for all DCM colleagues,” says Keith Kun, administrative officer at DCM and one of Vasconcelos’ supervisors. Their work ensured the smooth operation of the facility, from maintaining supplies and direct monitoring of 12 animal care technicians to training new technicians and deputy department heads.
“Lidia has always been a dedicated colleague and friend, and she set an example for everyone to follow. She cared deeply for the welfare of the animals she cared for. Always aware of the morale and wellbeing of her employees, she was strongly committed to a workplace that encouraged inclusiveness and mutual respect, ”says Fox.
Vasconcelos is survived by her husband Paul Vasconcelos and their children Kyle and Kayla.