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Duke U. Professor Dies in Flight, Passenger Makes Emergency Landing

Duke U. Prof Dies in Flight, Passenger Lands

Joseph Izatt, a distinguished Duke University professor, tragically passed away following a midair medical crisis while piloting a single-engine airplane. This incident occurred over North Carolina on April 7, 2024. Izatt was not only piloting the aircraft but also suffered the emergency that led to his untimely death.

During the flight, a passenger heroically took control of the plane and managed a successful emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The specifics of what caused Izatt's medical emergency remain unclear.

Professor Izatt was a respected member of the Duke community, where he had been a vital part of the institution since 2001. His contributions included leading the Department of Biomedical Engineering and publishing over 200 scholarly papers. His work primarily focused on the development of noninvasive technologies to diagnose and treat eye conditions, showcasing his commitment to advancing medical technology.

In recognition of his profound impact, Duke University lowered its flags and issued a heartfelt statement mourning his loss. Jerome Lynch, the Dean of the School, highlighted Izatt's thoughtful leadership and the deep care he had for the Biomedical Engineering (BME) community. His integrity and humility were praised as attributes that significantly enriched the school's culture.

Colleagues like Duke professor Hafeez Dhalla reminisced about Izatt's ability to create a tight-knit community of accomplished scientists, emphasizing the personal legacy he leaves behind alongside his professional accomplishments. The loss of Joseph Izatt marks a significant moment for both Duke University and the broader academic and scientific communities, reflecting on a life dedicated to innovation, education, and community building.

FMI: Duke.edu

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