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LEDER, Philip Age 85, passed away on February 2, 2020, with his beloved wife of 60 years, Aya Leder, and his family at his side. Phil was devoted to his family; accomplished and generous; respected by those whose lives he touched. He was born in Washington, DC, graduating from Western High School in 1952, and then earning undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University in 1956 and 1960, respectively. Phil began his career in genetics at the National Institutes of Health, where he served as the director of the Laboratory for Molecular Genetics before returning to Harvard Medical School in 1980 as founding Chairman of the Genetics Department, a position he held for more than 25 years. Phil's professional achievements are numerous – he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, was awarded the National Medal of Science, the Lasker Award, the Heineken Prize, and honorary degrees from Yale University, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Hebrew University, among others. Phil loved his life in research and academia, but he delighted in his family and, especially, his grandchildren. As he once wrote, "In the next few years I will retire from a life in genetics, which I've loved, from the genetic code to the human genome. But I won't retire from those grandchildren." He never did. Phil is survived by his wife, Aya Leder, and his children, Micki, Tani and Ben. He is also survived by daughters-in-law, Karen Leder and Mary Leder, and grandchildren Jacob, David, Sarah, Eli, Alex, Matt, Amanda and Annie. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 5th at 1:30 PM at Temple Emeth, 194 Grove Street, Chestnut Hill. Burial will follow at Or Emet Cemetery, 776 Baker St., West Roxbury. Reception will be at the family's home immediately following burial. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Good Shepherd Community Hospice, 90 Wells Ave., Newton, MA 02459 or a charity of one's choice. Levine Chapels, Brookline 617-277-8300

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Published in Boston Globe from Feb. 3 to Feb. 4, 2020.
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8 entries
April 9, 2020
Just learned of Phil passing. He served on Board of Genome Therapeutics when I was CEO. Made many valuable contributions. My sincere condolences to the Family. Robert Hennessey
February 12, 2020
The mysteries of life are less mysterious for Phils many efforts at the bench and as a mentor, but still so much great science to be done.
My thoughts with Aya and the family.
Tim Lane
February 6, 2020
Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet
Bracha Ravin
February 5, 2020
I offer my condolences to Aya and the rest of Phil Leder's family. My mother, Sue Cooper (nee Perlberg) and Phil were first cousins and she talked about him proudly and often. My own interactions with him were few and far between, but one stands out. Many years ago, when my wife was having some medical issues, Phil generously took the time and effort to pull some strings and arranged to have her seen by a great doctor in our city who was able to resolve the problem. We were, and always will be, touched and grateful for his caring assistance. My deepest sympathies to Aya and the entire family.

Rob Kahn
St. Louis, MO
Robert Kahn
February 5, 2020
It was an honor and privilege to do my postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Phil Leder. I learned many new things working in the top notch lab that he had developed over the years. He fostered a science environment that was collegial and supportive. I enjoyed the interactions I had with my colleagues, but most especially with Phil and his wife Aya.

I wish Aya and Phil's family all the best at this difficult time. He was a fine man and a gentleman in addition to being a world renowned scientist.
Nick Chester
February 4, 2020
Phil Leder was an outstanding scientist and great mentor of many generations of young scientists. I feel very fortunate to have been part of his research group from 1985-1989. Doing my postdoc with him (and Aya) was a great experience and made me a grow as a scientist..
I feel privileged having had the chance to do science together with him.

My thoughts are with his wife Aya and the family- I wish you strength and resolve to deal with this tremendous loss of a great human being, husband and father.
Rolf Zeller
February 4, 2020
It was my honor and privilege to have worked with Dr leder and Aya. He will be greatly missed. Lots of love and prayers for a wonderful family. Phil would warm our hearts with a great singing voice. Danny Boy and other great songs. Phil had a warm smile every day.
Philip Cantillon
February 3, 2020
Dr. Leder was a beloved teacher and role model. I feel so grateful to have known him and his incredibly talented son, Ben.
Michael Mitchell
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