Professor dies Wednesday morning; research on pain brought to halt

Scott M. Larson
Keith Kajander, an associate professor of oral biology in the School of Dentistry, died Wednesday morning at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Kajander was in his mid-40s, said Gareth Parry, head of the University neurology department and friend of Kajander.
Hospital officials wouldn’t confirm the cause of Kajander’s death; however, representatives at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said they are handling the case. While the office has not yet released a report, representatives said his body is being released to a funeral home.
Contacted at the Kajander home, Robert Rose, who said he was a family member, said Kajander collapsed Friday in his Minneapolis home.
Parry said Kajander was conducting pain research at the dental school. He has also conducted research on the sensory nervous system.
Chris Roberts, spokeswoman for the Academic Health Center, said Kajander was a very distinguished faculty member who started Brain Awareness Week, a program that taught elementary and high school students about the brain.
The Kajander family has set up a memorial fund through the dental school; the family has requested that contributions to the fund be made in lieu of flowers or gifts.
— Staff Reporters Andrew Donohue, Stacy Jo Enge and Sean Madigan contributed to this report.