For most of my many years at the University of Texas at Dallas, I was a graduate student in the Neuroengineering Laboratory of Lawrence James Cauller, Ph.D. He was an enthusiastic lecturer and I took or sat in on every class he taught whenever I possibly could. His neuroprosthetics medical research excited me and I admired his endeavors as an inventor-entrepreneur. Above all, I appreciated his warm personality.
A few years ago, the School notified me and the other students in his laboratory that Dr. Cauller had retired abruptly due to health reasons. I came to learn that his condition was untreatable and that he had left to spend his final days traveling. I was able to speak with him on the phone for one last time while he was on the road.
I discovered his obituary today. Even though I had known that he must have passed away some time ago, I find myself suddenly in grief. His death reminds me that medical research is perhaps our most important endeavor.