Freshman Satto Tonegawa, MIT professor's son, found dead yesterday
Satto Tonegawa ’15 was found dead in his MacGregor dormitory room yesterday evening.
Tonegawa, the son of MIT professor and Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa, was discovered shortly after 5 p.m. by MIT police in his J-entry room. Tonegawa had not been seen for a week and an odor was noticed near his room.
Tonegawa lived in Chestnut Hill, MA, about 6 miles from MIT.
There is no reason to suspect foul play, the MIT News Office has reported.
“This is a very sad situation, and the entire MIT community shares a deep sense of loss and grief,” said Chancellor Eric Grimson PhD ‘80 in a statement on the MIT News Office’s website. “Our thoughts go out to the family, friends, classmates and dormmates of Satto, as well as to the graduate resident tutors, housemasters and others in the student-life system who knew and worked with Satto.”
Tonegawa is the second MIT student to have died in less than two months. Nicolas E. Del Castillo, a sophomore, was found dead in his East Campus dormitory room on Sept. 4 in an apparent suicide.
As is protocol in the case of a sudden death, Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex County District Attorney have begun an investigation into Tonegawa’s death.
Tonegawa was an avid musician, playing both piano and cello. He attended the Milton Academy before coming to MIT this fall, according to the Academy’s website. Like his father, Tonegawa had an interest in the life sciences — he worked in the Orr-Weaver lab at the Whitehead Institute as a high-school student.
Members of the community who feel affected by this death are encouraged to contact Mental Health Services at 617-253-2916, or talk to their housemasters or GRTs.