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Obituary: Mokhtar H. Gado, professor emeritus of radiology, 84

Noted for work with neurological diseases and research involving MRI of brain, spine

May 5, 2016


Mokhtar H. Gado, MD, for decades a leading researcher at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died of colon cancer April 28, 2016, in St. Louis. He was 84.

Gado, a professor emeritus of radiology, was noted for his work with neurological diseases and had conducted extensive research involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and spine. He was recognized for his work regarding the radiological manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease and brain changes in the elderly, and in the correlation of physical principles of magnetic resonance to the pathologic changes in the disease processes of the central nervous system.

“Dr. Gado was a central part of the institute and neuroradiology for decades, having trained numerous residents and fellows and having served as an example of professional dedication and intellectual integrity,” said Richard L. Wahl, MD, the Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt Professor and head of radiology at the School of Medicine.

Franz J. Wippold II, MD, also a Washington University professor of radiology, was trained by Gado and worked with him for more than 30 years.

“Dr. Gado was a pioneer in CT (computed tomography) and MRI while at Mallinckrodt, having trained many of the nation’s neuroradiologists,” Wippold said. “He was a well-loved mentor, friend and clinician and was perhaps best known for his quiet, professional demeanor and his outstanding teaching style.”

Several tributes citing Gado’s engaging teaching style, deep knowledge of his field, brilliant mind and kind spirit were posted to MIR’s Facebook page shortly after his death.

Gado joined Mallinckrodt as a senior fellow in neuroradiology in 1970. The next year, he was appointed chief of the neuroradiology section, and he served in that role until 1991, when he relinquished his administrative duties to devote more of his time to research and teaching.

He remained active as a professor of neuroradiology until 2013, when he was named an emeritus professor.

Gado was born in Monoufiah, Egypt. He earned his degrees at Cairo University in Cairo — his bachelor’s degree in 1949 and his medical degree in 1953. He completed internships and residencies at Cairo University Hospital; Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England; and what was then the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, in Queen Square, London, before becoming a senior fellow at Washington University.

He is survived by his longtime wife and loving companion, Sonja Gado; his children, Karim, Yasmine, Soraya and Ameer; his brother, Kamel Hishmat Gado; and two grandchildren.

Visitation was April 29 at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis in Manchester, Mo., and a private funeral service followed. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the MIR Neuroradiology Education Fund, Department of Radiology, Washington University Office of Medical Alumni and Development, Campus Box 1247, Attn. Kristen Williamson, 7425 Forsyth Blvd, Ste. 2100, St. Louis, MO 63105; to the American Cancer Society or to a charitable organization of one’s choice.