Medical School Radiology Expert Dies at 55

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Belliveau would go on to become the first president of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping.

“He would always push me towards making large advancements rather than working on small increments of contribution,” said Giorgio Bonmassar, a former postdoctoral fellow of Belliveau’s and a current assistant radiology professor at the Medical School.

While his enthusiasm and passion for science was evident through his work, friends and colleagues remember Belliveau as a social man who was an avid golfer, skier, and drummer.

“I was really impressed with his creativity…. Jack always had this great sense of wonder and also a great sense of humor,” Brady said.

Belliveau also served as a mentor for numerous neurobiologists, for whom he was an inspiration.

“Perhaps what I see as the most important pieces of advice that Jack gave me relates to crystallization of what is the very essence of science,” wrote Iiro Jääskeläinen, a former mentee, in an email. “One of the things Jack often said was that the tasks of a scientist should be simply ‘elucidation of the truth and dissemination of knowledge’.”

Belliveau is survived by his wife and his daughter, Amélie.

His contribution to the field of neurobiology did more than just modernize the methods biologists used to observe the brain, colleagues say.

“The way physicians evaluate the blood flow to the brain is by using the tools that Jack created, and many lives have been saved around the world, so it’s not just his impact on basic science and the engineering of brain imaging,” Rosen said. “It’s literally saved lives.”

—Staff writer Tasnim Ahmed can be reached at