Bicyclist killed in Boston was Swiss surgeon, researcher

(Photo Courtesy: WBZ-TV/Boston)

BOSTON (AP) — Colleagues in Boston say the bicyclist struck and killed by a flatbed tractor trailer truck on Friday was a talented Swiss surgeon and medical researcher.

Police said Dr. Anita Kurmann, 38, was struck at about 7 a.m. Friday at Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. They later said they found the truck and its driver and are continuing to investigate what happened at the busy intersection, which has been the scene of a string of accidents involving cyclists in recent years.

The Boston Globe reports Kurmann, an endocrine surgeon, came from Switzerland three years ago to do research at Boston University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on transforming embryonic stem cells into functional thyroid tissue. She had planned to return to Bern to continue her surgical practice and set up a research lab later this year.

Her lab supervisors, Dr. Darrel Kotton of Boston University and Dr. Tony Hollenberg of Beth Israel, said Kurmann will be deeply missed for her kindness and compassion.

“She was the kind of the person you want to be your surgeon,” Hollenberg told the Globe. “She was kind. She was compassionate. She had it all. It’s a huge loss.”

Kotton, who worked with Kurmann at BU’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, said: “She brought out the best in me and my team. It’s just a devastating loss.”

Hollenberg said Kurmann had been preparing her research, which was almost complete, for publication. He said it was intended to help people born without a thyroid or who have had their thyroid surgically removed.

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