A Tribute to Dr. Richard Saitz

For Richard Saitz (1963-2022)

In September 2020, my friend and Boston University colleague Dr. Rich Saitz wrote to me: “I have the bad luck of having been diagnosed with an inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. I have a P01 application in the works and I wondered if you might be willing and interested in taking it over?” Because Rich had work for me to do, I was among the first to know this terrible news. I was undone; the grant was due in eight weeks. I accepted the next day, and Rich and I become multiple PIs for the proposal.

As Rich began chemotherapy, he was hopeful that we could pull off the application and that he would be in better shape when we were eventually funded. I enjoined the wonderful senior investigators who now constitute the leadership of the ARCHER grant, who traced out the ideas you will read in this newsletter. We wrote fast, with Rich pitching his thoughts about the Aims from his sick bed. He was the Rich I had always known: a scold for clear thinking, an empirical stickler. He had strong opinions, but not inflexible ones. He wanted us to play to BU’s strengths and past work, and also to be innovative. Because we were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, our projects would live in the new world of telehealth.

For decades, Rich had been an influential writer and editor around the primary issues of clinical alcohol research, a mentor to many, a miner of good ideas, a keeper of common sense. He had directed Boston ARCH, the Boston Alcohol Research Collaboration on HIV/AIDS, which gave birth to ARCHER. So he was there from the beginning of this vein of work. His spirit, his direction and high standards, will be there until the end.

–Michael Stein


A memorial service will be held for Dr. Rich Saitz on April 4th, 2022. Please see the calendar and Zoom information below.

Memorial for Richard Saitz
Monday, April 4, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Hiebert and Zoom

Link to join: https://bostonu.zoom.us/j/96369904557
Meeting ID: 963 6990 4557
Password: 287685
Audio: +1 646 876 9923