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Remembering Dr. Cecile Janssens

The Center for the Study of Human Health mourns the loss of our colleague and friend, Dr. A. Cecile J. W. Janssens who passed away on September 8, 2022. Cecile was one of the founders of the Epidemiology Focus within the Human Health major and her course, HLTH 279 Critiquing Health News, was a core component. She was a brilliant teacher who was able to inspire curiosity and to break down complex concepts into easily understandable components. Cecile’s teaching wasn’t limited by the walls of the classroom. She used her Twitter platform to encourage critical thinking and to explain the strengths, as well as weaknesses, of various analytical approaches. An esteemed epidemiologist whose research focused on genetic disease prediction, she had recently been appointed to join The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy. Her contributions to science extended beyond her own field. She was co-creator of the CoCites browser plugin which aimed to help scientists expand their own understanding by efficiently identifying relevant scientific articles based upon how frequently they are cited together and highlighting relationships that can be missed when searching by keywords alone. A rigorous thinker, Cecile welcomed critique and respectful debate as opportunities to learn and to move scientific research forward. Her presence, passion, intellect, and vision will be missed, but we will honor her legacy by continuing to ask questions and expecting excellence.

Thank you, Cecile, for your lasting contributions to our program and our understanding.