About Jonathan

Hi, I’m Jon. I live in Brookline, Massachusetts and I design healthcare software for a living.

I feel I owe my career to a visionary act of kindness.

In 1985, my grandmother had a stroke and my mother needed to care for her. An administrative assistant at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, my mother explained the situation to her boss, Dr. Marvin Zelen (“a giant in the field of biostatistics”). In response, he offered my mother the flexibility to work from home as well as the computer equipment to make it possible — decades before it was commonplace, certainly for folks who were low in the office hierarchy.

Our family received an IBM PC-XT with a 40MB hard drive, color monitor, and a modem — thousands of dollars of equipment. My mother kept her job, took care of me and my grandmother, and gave me an opportunity to learn how to use a computer.

My mother spent the rest of her career with the Department of Biostatistics, and I have many happy memories of the hardware, software, and skills I was exposed to through her office:

Jonathan Abbett

Photo credit: Joon Lee