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BCRF Mourns Loss of Investigator Dr. Allen Tannenbaum

By BCRF | February 20, 2024

The scientific community has lost a pioneering mathematician

It is with great sadness that BCRF shares the news of the passing of Dr. Allen Tannenbaum, a true giant in the fields of applied mathematics and computer science.

A BCRF investigator since 2017, Dr. Tannenbaum’s career spanned decades across many specialties, including biomedical imaging and bioinformatics. His work with fellow BCRF investigator Dr. Joseph Deasy, supported by the Simons Foundation, was focused on the emerging field of mathematical oncology: leveraging mathematical approaches to fight cancer. Dr. Tannenbaum envisioned a way to connect and correlate cancer’s many complex networks and interrelated facets.

In partnership with Dr. Deasy, he worked to gain insight into how complex, interacting systems drive the disease, and they sought to better understand tumorigenesis, identify new targets for treatment, refine breast cancer molecular subtypes, and ultimately move precision medicine for cancer forward.

BCRF’s Founding Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton was a longtime collaborator of Dr. Tannenbaum’s.

“Allen was a true luminary, not only in the sense of recognition by his peers but by his casting light on the mysteries of biology and medicine that have long puzzled the best minds,” Dr. Norton said. “He did this through a unique confluence of talents, including his abilities to interpret difficult biology in sophisticated mathematical terms and work with and inspire others. To say that he’ll be missed is an understatement beyond measure.”

At the time of his passing, Dr. Tannenbaum was the Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics & Statistics at Stony Brook University. He authored numerous publications, which were well received and cited more than 36,000 times by his peers. He was also the recipient of many awards, including the Kennedy Research Prize, the  National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award, and the O. Hugo Schuck Award.

BCRF extends its sympathies to Dr. Tannenbaum’s family, friends, and colleagues in this time of sorrow.