SEATTLE — A longtime University of Washington pathology professor considered a titan in his field is among those killed by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

The school's Pathology Department announced Dr. Stephen Schwartz's death Wednesday, saying he “left a lasting imprint on our department, our university, and the broader scientific community.” 

"He will be greatly missed," Dr. Paul Ramsey, dean of the UW School of Medicine, wrote in a letter to colleagues.

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It was not immediately clear how or when Schwartz, 78, contracted the disease.

Schwartz had taught at the university since 1974 and co-founded the North American Vascular Biology Organization. He graduated from Harvard University in 1963 and obtained his medical degree from Boston University before coming to the University of Washington for his residency in 1967.

Dr. Stephen M. Schwartz
Dr. Stephen M. Schwartz, UW professor of pathology.
UW Medicine

As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been 66 coronavirus deaths in Washington among 1,187 confirmed cases, according to the Washington State Department of Health. The bulk of the death toll – 56 people – were in King County.