It is with much sadness that the McGill Faculty of Medicine communicates the loss of an outstanding colleague and one of McGill’s best, Professor Emeritus Theodore L. Sourkes, who passed away January 17, 2015 at age 96. Dr. Sourkes was an accomplished scholar, an expert scientist and a ground-breaking researcher, with countless contributions, who leaves behind an important legacy.
Before his McGill years, he developed Aldomet as one of the first anti-hypertensive drugs. While at McGill, he led an internationally renowned lab focused on the biochemistry of brain catecholamines. His fundamental discoveries led him to pioneer the concept of L-DOPA replacement therapy in Parkinson’s disease, which is considered to be the first effective therapy for a neurodegenerative disease. The quality of life of millions of patients has been improved as a result, and it is a therapeutic concept that remains valid today.
Ted Sourkes served as Professor in the McGill Departments of Psychiatry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology and Therapeutics. His contributions have been of significance for these disciplines, as well as for Neuroscience and Neurology. He received many honours and awards, and in 2013 McGill inaugurated the Theodore L. Sourkes Lectureship Series in Neuropharmacology, thanks to a generous donation from McGill alumnus and Dr. Sourkes’ disciple Prof. Moussa Youdim. To name just a few of his accolades, Dr. Sourkes was Professor Emeritus at McGill University, an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Wilder Penfield Prix du Québec.
He was a man of vision, a mentor to many at McGill and scientists worldwide, and a constant source of wise counsel. He was also a loyal friend and moral compass to generations of family, friends, students and colleagues. His depth of knowledge and commitment to the highest standards in research were and will remain a model to us all.
To his family, we offer our most heartfelt condolences. As per their wishes, contributions in Dr. Sourkes’ memory may be made to the Theodore L. Sourkes Lecture Series in Neuropharmacology at McGill, or to the charity of your choice.
January 23, 2015