Colleagues Mourn Death of Former Scientist

Colleagues Mourn Death of Former Scientist

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Ed Yeates ReportingColleagues of a former scientist who drowned in Mill Creek this week may join the family for a special memorial in about two weeks. Cynthia Lark did research side by side with her husband at the University of Utah for more than 30 years.

76-year old Dr. Cynthia Lark fully retired from research in the University labs about seven years ago. Her death Tuesday had an impact on many there, especially Dr. Mario Capecchi.

Dr. Capecchi is a renowned biologist whose work in perfecting genetic models has brought him worldwide recognition and numerous international awards. He was one of several key scientists recruited by Karl Gordon Lark who chaired the U's department of biology at a time when it was evolving rapidly as a major research competitor. By his side was his wife and colleague, Dr. Cynthia Lark.

Dr. Capecchi says many colleagues are mourning her death.

Dr. Mario Capecchi, University of Utah Human Genetics: "She was an outstanding scientist, very dedicated. She did a lot of very good work herself. And she was also a very good judge of other science."

Before the lab was remodeled, Dr. Lark did much of her research in the area. Her name appears on many peer review journals, and some of her research was supported by the national institutes of health.

She got her doctorate degree from the University of St. Louis, but her work in microbial physiology took her to labs at Washington University, the University of Geneva and the Carnegie Institute, to name a few.

Dr. Mario Capecchi: "She had very strong opinions and excellent opinions in terms of both what people are able to work together as well as to do good science."

In the past several years Cynthia Lark had suffered from dementia. Police say she apparently wandered into her back yard, possibly looking for her cats, and fell into the fast moving waters of Mill Creek.

Dr. Capecchi says Dr. Lark was a quiet person, a private person, but a very visible and respected scientist.

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