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Noted Harvard Neurobiologist Stephen W. Kuffler, 67, Dies


Funeral services were held yesterday for Stephen W. Kuffler, Enders Professor of Neurobiology at the Medical School.

An expert on the nervous system, Kuffler died Saturday in Woods Hole of a heart attack. He was 67 years old and had spent more than 20 years at Harvard.

Kuffler, "one of the world's most eminent scientists studying the nervous sytem" made advances of fundamental importance to present understanding of the brain and transmission of impulses in the nervous system, Torsten N. Wiesel, chairman of the department of neurobiology at Harvard, said in a statement issued Sunday.

Kuffler, a pioneer in the study of neurobiology and the founder of Harvard's academic department of neurobiology in 1967, was born in 1913 and received his medical degree from the University of Vienna in 1937.

He was associated with the Kanematsu Institute of Sydney Hospital, University of Chicago and John Hopkins School of Medicine before he became professor of neurophysiology at the Med School in 1959.

"There are few people in the field of biology who have had such a profound influence over several decades, not only on the work of his colleagues, but also on their attitudes as human beings. He was a man of remarkable vigor, integrity, and sensitivity," Wiesel said Sunday.

Kuffler worked the very last day of his life on research at the forefront of his field," Terrence J. Sejnowski, a research fellow who worked with Kuffler, said yesterday.

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