Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Obit: Conrad M. Riley, M.D.

From The Los Angeles Times:
Dr. Conrad M. Riley, 91; Pediatrician Identified Rare Genetic Condition
From Times Staff Reports
16 August 2005

Dr. Conrad Milton Riley, 91, a pediatrician who identified a rare genetic condition that occurs almost exclusively in Jewish children of Eastern European descent, died of an aortic aneurysm July 5 at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, his family said.

While working with Richard L. Day and others at Columbia University, he first described Riley-Day syndrome in 1949. The incurable neurological condition, which is caused by a defective gene inherited from both parents, is now known as familial dysautonomia. A key symptom is an inability to produce tears.

Riley was born in Worcester, Mass. He earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1938 and his medical degree from Harvard University.

At the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Riley became a pioneer in the study of preventive medicine in the early 1960s. He also successfully pushed to increase the number of women and minority students admitted to the medical school and argued to liberalize Colorado's abortion law.
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Anthony H. Risser | |

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