Pioneering Mass Eye and Ear Researcher Nelson Kiang Dies at 93

Nelson Yuan-sheng Kiang, a pionerring Mass Eye and Ear researcher, as well as a Beacon Hill resident, died on March 19 in Boston. He was 93.

Mr. Kiang was born in Wuxi, China, on July 6, 1929. At age 5, his diplomat parents brought him to the United States, where he spent his youth in Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle. He studied at the University of Chicago, receiving a Ph.D. degree in 1955.

In 1956, Mr. Kiang came to the Boston area. He founded and directed the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory Physiology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from 1959 to 1996, where he conducted pioneering hearing research. While holding professor rank at both MIT and Harvard Medical School, he led the establishment of a joint academic program in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 1992.

After retirement in 1996, Mr. Kiang organized several large academic conferences and pursued commitments to global health and international education while always working to strengthen direct exchange and mutual understanding between American and Chinese scientists.

Of Mr. Kiang, Rep. Jay Livingstone said: “He was a humble man who lived an impressive life.  I always enjoyed my conversations with him and am grateful I had the opportunity to meet him.”

Mr. Kiang is survived by his wife, Barbara Kiang; son, Peter Kiang; daughter-in-law, Vivian Lee; grandson, Jazz Kiang; step-daughter, Pamela Raab; step-son-in-law, David Stokes; and step-grandchildren, Emma Stokes-Raab and Noah Stokes-Raab.

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