Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 4, 2020
LEDER, Philip Age 85, passed away on February 2, 2020,
with his beloved wife of 60 years, Aya Leder, and his family
at his side. Phil was devoted to his family; accomplished
and generous; respected by those whose lives he touched.
He was born in Washington, DC, graduating from Western
High School in 1952, and then earning undergraduate and medical degrees from
Harvard University in 1956 and 1960, respectively.
Phil began his career in genetics at the National Institutes of Health, where he served as
the director of the Laboratory for Molecular Genetics before returning to Harvard Medical
School in 1980 as founding Chairman of the Genetics Department, a position he held for
more than 25 years.
Phil's professional achievements are numerous – he was a member of the National
Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, was awarded the National Medal of
Science, the Lasker Award, the Heineken Prize, and honorary degrees from Yale
University, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Hebrew University, among others.
Phil loved his life in research and academia, but he delighted in his family and, especially,
his grandchildren. As he once wrote, "In the next few years I will retire from a life in
genetics, which I've loved, from the genetic code to the human genome. But I won't retire
from those grandchildren." He never did.
Phil is survived by his wife, Aya Leder, and his children, Micki, Tani and Ben. He is also
survived by daughters-in-law, Karen Leder and Mary Leder, and grandchildren Jacob,
David, Sarah, Eli, Alex, Matt, Amanda and Annie.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 5th at 1:30 PM at Temple
Emeth, 194 Grove Street, Chestnut Hill.
Burial will follow at Or Emet Cemetery, 776 Baker St., West Roxbury.
Reception will be at the family's home immediately following burial.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Good Shepherd Community Hospice,
90 Wells Ave., Newton, MA 02459 or a charity of one's choice .
Levine Chapels, Brookline 617-277-8300 www.levinechapel.com