Dr. Daniel Ian Kaufer
Dan was born March 7, 1959, in St. Louis Missouri, son of the late Harry Lee and the late Beverly Simon Kaufer. He succumbed to cancer on July 2, 2020 after a brief illness.
Dan graduated University City High School and matriculated to the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where he received his BS degree Cum Laude in Molecular Biology and Zoology, followed by his MD degree, and a residency in neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He went on to do a fellowship in geriatric neurology at UCLA and, for several years, served on the faculty of neurology and psychiatry at UPMC. He later joined the faculty of neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an associate professor and founding director of the UNC Memory Disorders Program.
Dan enjoyed an international reputation in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and was renowned for his work in Lewy Body Dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia. He co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His research focused on developing novel clinical tools for improving the diagnosis and treatment of degenerative dementias, notably Frontotemporal Degeneration and Lewy Body Dementia.
Dan was the recipient of many honors and distinctions, including election as a fellow into the American Academy of Neurology and as President of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology. He took medical education seriously and mentored hundreds of medical students and residents over the decades. In addition to his academic and educational work, Dan was deeply devoted to patient and family care. He recognized that patients with memory disorders put severe stress on family caregivers and through his clinical research as well as advocacy, he sought to improve the experience of family caregivers as well as the loved ones they cared for.
Beyond advancing the lives of people, Dan had a green thumb. His home was lushly appointed with over 100 colorful indoor plants and his office likely half that. Outdoors, he was a master at all-season color and strove to find the perfect harmony between height, color, growth habit, and texture. He moved non-potted outdoor plants around like indoor furniture. He explained that moving plants for enhanced aesthetic effect calmed his mind after long stressful workdays.
Dan was a devoted father to his precious daughter Ella and a loving partner to his significant other, Denise Haviland. He is survived by a sister, Nancy Lehrer (Harvey) of St. Louis and his brother, David Kaufer (Barbara) of Pittsburgh. He was an adored presence in a large network of aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In honor of Dan, checks should be made payable to the UNC Health Foundation. Please note on the check that it is a memorial for the Daniel I. Kaufer Memory Disorders Fund. Donations may be sent to the UNC Health Foundation, 123 W. Franklin Street, Suite 510 Chapel Hill, NC 27516 and online donations can be made here: unchealthfoundation.org/kaufermemorial
. If you have questions, please contact: Aron Johnson, UNC Department of Neurology: 910-409-2973, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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