Chemistry Graduate Student Is Dead after Collapse in Marathon

Peter N. Curtin, 23, a graduate student in Course V, died Saturday after collapsing at the 25-mile mark in the Baltimore Running Festival Marathon at around 11:20 a.m. He was immediately taken to the Union Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:11 p.m, hospital spokeswoman Debra Schindler told The Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore city fire spokesman Kevin Cartwright said Curtin had a body temperature of 107 or 108 degrees and was in cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. Lee Corrigan, the race organizer, told the Sun that the race had 250 doctors and nurses to assist during the course. An autopsy to determine cause of death is scheduled for next Saturday.

“We are heartbroken about it and it puts a sad note on an otherwise great day for Baltimore,” Corrigan told the Sun. “Our hearts go out to him and his family.”

Curtin graduated from Princeton and started at MIT last fall. He was a TA for last fall’s offering of 5.112 (Principles of Chemical Science). Curtin was working under Chemistry Professor Daniel G. Nocera and recently received the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. He was also conducting research on the synthesis of ratiometric chemosensing quantum dots for the lab of Chemistry Professor Moungi G. Bawendi.

“This is truly a tragedy,” said Marc Kastner, Dean of the School of Science to the MIT News Office. “Peter was a gifted member of the MIT community, and our thoughts are now with his family.” The Princeton University Chapel will hold a memorial service on Oct. 25.

Curtin’s death comes almost a year after the death of Kjell A. Tovander ’09 under similar circumstances. Tovander collapsed in the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma and died in the hospital.