Otakar Koldovsky, MD, PhD : Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

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Otakar Koldovsky, MD, PhD

Philipps, Anthony F. MD; Dvorak, Bohuslav PhD

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Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition 28(5):p 9A-10A, May 1999.
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(Figure) Otakar Koldovsky, MD, PhD, died suddenly on April 5, 1998. He is survived by his wife, Eva, and brother, Pavel. Dr. Koldovsky was a Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and an active member of the Steele Memorial Children's Research Center. During his career, he published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters as well as serving on the editorial boards of countless professional journals. In addition, he was responsible for the training of many students and young scientists.


Dr. Koldovsky was a native of Prague, Czechoslovakia, where his father had been an ophthalmologist. He received his medical training at Charles University, Prague, and received a doctorate degree at the Institute of Physiology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. His interest in developmental gastrointestinal physiology prompted many early studies in his native country. In 1968, Dr. Koldovsky emigrated to the United States and took a position as Research Associate at Stanford University. He then moved to Philadelphia as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, where he remained for 11 years. At these institutions he continued his work investigating the developmental changes of the gastrointestinal tract, both biochemical and anatomical, that occur during early life, including the role that specific hormones such as steroids and thyroxine might play. It was here that his interest in the concept of milk-derived hormones for the suckling grew.

In 1980, Otakar moved to Tucson, Arizona to become a faculty member at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. His primary appointment was appropriately in the Department of Pediatrics, but he developed close ties with colleagues in the Departments of Physiology, Anatomy, and Pharmacology. His recent research was focused on breast milk composition, especially concerning the role of milk-borne growth factors on development of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Koldovsky was internationally recognized as an expert in the area of developmental gastrointestinal physiology. He was the recipient of many awards and honors, including the American Academy of Pediatrics Nutrition award and the Harry Schwachman Award in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. He will be greatly missed for his scientific enthusiasm, his humor and dry wit, his energy and sense of purpose. From a personal point of view, we miss him a great deal and hope to carry on the work that he believed to be of critical importance for the health of future generations of babies.

Anthony F. Philipps, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona; College of Medicine

Bohuslav Dvorak, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona; College of Medicine

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.