Lidia Vasconcelos, an area supervisor in the MIT Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM), died of cancer on Jan. 29. She was 53 years old.
“Lidia’s captivating smile displayed her warmth and love for her family, friends, and DCM co-workers,” says 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 this role, she worked with a large team to consistently maintain immaculate, state-of-the-art animal facilities, and provided guidance and support to DCM’s 90 animal care technicians and many active researchers.
Vasconcelos’s specific area was the Whitehead Institute animal facility, which has 10 labs and approximately 50 active researchers. “Lidia’s work ethic and professional demeanor made her an extremely valuable asset to all of her DCM colleagues,” says Keith Kun, administrative officer in DCM and one of Vasconcelos’ supervisors. Her work ensured the smooth operation of the facility, from maintaining supplies to direct supervision of 12 animal-care technicians to training new technicians and assistant area supervisors.
“Lidia was always a dedicated colleague and friend, and she set an example for all to follow. She cared deeply for the welfare of animals under her care. She was always mindful of her co-workers’ morale and well-being, and a staunch advocate for a workplace which promoted inclusiveness and mutual respect,” says Fox.
Vasconcelos is survived by her husband, Paul Vasconcelos, and her children, Kyle and Kayla.