Aoun orders review after lab worker’s death

Aoun orders review after lab worker’s death
Emily-Dawn Staupe,

President Joseph Aoun has ordered an “extensive review” of Northeastern’s protocol on the use of hazardous materials in response to the death Emily-Dawn Staupe, a Northeastern research assistant, 30, who police say died after ingesting crystallized cyanide.

Though officials haven’t confirmed the origin of the cyanide, Aoun said  “a review is both wise and appropriate at this time,” in an e-mail to the University community Monday morning.

Mel Bernstein, the university’s vice provost for research and a former Department of Homeland Security official, will oversee the review.

Police found Staupe dead after she ingested crystallized cyanide in her Milford home, according to multiple reports. A member of Staupe’s family contacted authorities early Sunday morning for help.

A sandwich bag labeled ‘cyanide’ was found next to her body. Preliminary results from from the Department of Environmental Protection and the state Fire Marshal’s office identify the substance as cyanide. Where Staupe obtained the substance has not been confirmed.

Staupe graduated from Northeastern in 2005 with a psychology degree, and recently enrolled in the Biotechnology master’s program.

“The Northeastern community mourns the tragic and untimely loss of Emily Staupe,” said Renata Nyul, director of communications. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Emily’s family and friends during this difficult time. As there is an ongoing investigation of Emily’s death, it is inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Milford Police Chief Thomas O’Loughlin did not return a call for comment.

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