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Louis Lasagna

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 04 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:565

Pioneer in clinical pharmacology, investigator of the placebo response, and medical school dean

Louis Lasagna revolutionised the evaluation and regulation of drugs throughout the world. “Lou Lasagna created clinical pharmacology. He put academic rigour into the study of new drugs in humans,” said Dr Kenneth Kaitin, who succeeded Lasagna as director of the Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University.

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In his more than 50 years in medicine, Dr Lasagna was a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration and many other organisations in the United States and abroad, founded the Center for the Study of Drug Development, and served as dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University in Boston for nearly 20 years. He also wrote or cowrote 655 papers and two popular books (The Doctors' Dilemma in 1962 and Life, Death and the Doctor in 1968).

He was born in modest circumstances in New York City in 1923, the only child of immigrants from northern Italy. He did well in school and went …

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