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Boston University professor is found dead in lab

July 12, 2010

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BOSTON—A Boston University engineering professor has been found dead in a school lab.

A BU spokesman says the body of 62-year-old Franco Cerrina was found Monday morning in a fifth-floor lab at the Photonics Center, where the science and engineering of light are studied. The cause of death hasn't been determined.

Investigators don't suspect foul play. They've ruled out homicide.

Cerrina was a native of Italy. He joined the BU faculty in 2008 as chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department after spending 24 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He held 16 patents and was described as a leading scholar in optics, lithography and nanotechnology.

BU spokesman Colin Riley calls the death a terrible loss for the university.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

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