Peter Szolovits’ Blog



Marco Ramoni died on the morning of June 8, 2010, quite unexpectedly. Many of his friends are trying to understand and to cope with his death, which is such a terrible intrusion into our mainly enjoyable lives.  Here are a few thoughts that cannot live up to the occasion.

Marco was remarkable in his technical insights, dedication to hard work, and loving, demanding supervision of his charges.  He has always been one of the most pleasant of colleagues, because there was not a mean bone in his body, yet he was incisive in his criticism and passionate in the defense of his views.  He exuded a joy in life, love, work, competition, enterprise and honor that few can muster.  His only flaws were a tendency to be late to meetings (ironically, I once joked that he would be late to his own funeral!), and a love of heavy colognes—both quite forgivable in light of his many wonderful traits.

It’s impossible to sum up such a rich life in a few words.  It’s impossible to convey the joy I felt in knowing Marco and the corresponding loss I feel in his passing.  Just last fall he came to cheer me up as I was facing my own bout with mortality. I never imagined that he would succumb to an unexpected disease at such a young age, whereas I survived my surgery, with his encouragement.  My loss is only humbled by the cruel deprivation that I am sure his wife, Rachel, feels.  I wish her the best, and hope that we can all revel in our recollections of Marco’s spectacular life, not dwell on his tragic death.


AMIA has created a memorial fund in Marco’s honor, to support a best paper award at the AMIA Summit on Translational Bioinformatics. Contributions may be made at that site.