Eduardo Eidelberg, MD, died on July 6, 2003, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He passed away in Texas, where he had been a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He was 73 years old.
He was born in Lima, Peru in April, 1930, and was educated there at the British-Peruvian High School, the National University of San Marcos, and the National University of San Marcos, School of Medicine, where he received his Bachelor of Medicine in 1954 and Doctor of Medicine in 1955. He came to the United States in 1955 as a Senior Resident in Neurosurgery in Boston. Following a visiting fellowship in Buenos Aires, he returned to the United States to join the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he became interested in neurophysiology and left neurosurgery to work with John D. French and Horace W. Magoun at UCLA just before they started the Brain Research Institute. He remained there until 1962. Following a fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, he went to Phoenix, Arizona, to become the Chairman of the Division of Neurobiology at the Barrow Neurological Institute. It was at the Barrow Institute where he developed a wonderful research program and stimulated many young people to follow careers in neuroscience. His research interests were wide ranging, as was his intellectual curiosity. Eidelberg set up his lab with a three-pronged thrust of neurophysiology, neurochemistry, and neuropsychology. Eventually he had about thirty people working in the lab, and he did investigations on various areas of the brain: the amygdala, hippocampus, and various regions of the cerebral cortex, eventually extending his work to the dorsal spinal cord. His techniques ranged from single cell to ablation experiments, using guinea pigs, mice, rats, ferrets, and primates. In his labs, he studied spinal cord injury and recovery, the somatosensory system, and effect of drugs in the nervous system. He was especially interested in spinal cord injury and recovery and his 110 publications reflect that interest.
In 1977, Eidelberg moved to the University of Texas, San Antonio, as a Professor in Neurosurgery and to the Audie Murphy VA Hospital, where he was a Medical Investigator from 1979 through 1985, and where he was later a Staff Physician, continuing his interests in spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s Disease.
Eidelberg will be missed by the many people who loved him. He was a great teacher and mentor who encouraged and mentored many, inspiring in them the love that he had for research and the brain. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Brooks-Eidelberg; his two beloved daughters, Sonia Nicholson and Elaine Eidelberg; their mother, Nora Eidelberg; 2 grandsons, Julian Nicholson and Curtis McMurtry; two sisters in Lima, Peru - Emilia and Liliane; and 6 nephews and nieces.