Kirkland Sophomore Found Dead at Medical School

Edwards '10, of Wellesley, Mass., was researcher at hospital

A Kirkland House sophomore was found dead at the Harvard Medical School late last night, Harvard officials announced today.

Police found the body of John B. Edwards ’10 shortly after 11 p.m. yesterday at the Medical School's New Research Building, according to Robert P. Mitchell, a spokesman for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard police logs.

A spokeswoman for the Boston medical examiner said a cause of death had not been determined as of this afternoon.

Earlier this morning, the Boston Herald reported that a man's body was found in the building, his head wrapped in a plastic bag. Firefighters arrived to investigate a jar of possibly toxic chemicals found at the scene, the Herald reported.

Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene by medical examiners, according to the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD).

Interim Dean of the College David R. Pilbeam sent an e-mail this morning to members of the Kirkland community informing them of Edward’s death and describing the support services available to the Harvard community.

Edwards was from Wellesley, Mass., and conducted stem cell research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

According to his roommate Alex C. Chang ’10, Edwards had also been training for next year’s Boston marathon and had set up a website to raise money for various non-profits.

“John was really generous, and he was very open about anything on his mind,” said Chang.

Edwards was planning to concentrate in Molecular Cellular Biology, according to Cabot Professor of Biology Richard M. Losick, who taught Edwards this semester.

“He was doing well in the class,” said Losick. “I was expecting to get to know him well.”

Police have not said if they believe foul play was involved in the incident, and HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano declined to comment further on the incident. 

—Check for updates.
—Staff writer Nan Ni can be reached at


Professional help is available through After Hours Urgent Care at Harvard University Health Services, on the fifth floor of the Holyoke Center. University Health Services can also be reached at (617) 495-5711.