Medical 10

Madhu P. (Prasad) Kalia

September 11, 1940 ~ February 9, 2020 (age 79)

Obituary

Dr. Madhu P. Kalia was born on September 11, 1940 in Kashmir, India.  She received a BS degree at Loreto College in Lucknow, India.  Attending the University of Delhi, she was awarded an M.D. in Medicine (1964) and a Ph.D. in Neuro-Physiology (1968).

Her pre- and post-doc Fellowships were granted at the University of Delhi and Oxford University, UK. Other training included posts at Berlin’s Physiologisches Institut, and Harvard University.

Dr. Kalia did her residency at Philadelphia’s Hahnemann University, Department of Neurology (1975-78).  She added another degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, receiving an MBA in Healthcare Finance (1993).

Dr. Kalia’s first professional teaching post was at Hahnemann in 1974-82; and in 1983 until her death she was at Thomas Jefferson University where she held several positions in various departments; Physiology, Pharmacology, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

As in the words of a former Jefferson Medical College dean, Dr. Kalia “is an internationally acclaimed scientist and an honored teacher. Her training has been impeccable. Her letters of recommendation proclaim her enthusiasm, organization, discipline, and her intellect. She is welcomed and comfortable among peers at international gatherings. Her publications with some of the most distinguished scientists in the field are numerous. Her record of research funding is superb. She has been an invited lecturer countless times and a visiting scientist nine times both here and abroad.”

She had received more than a dozen awards and prizes, among them the coveted Lindback Award for excellence in teaching, in 1980, 1987, and 1997.

Her 36-year tenure at Jefferson fostered numerous scientific publications.  Many young scientists counted Dr. Kalia as an influential mentor. Her dedication to her research was such that colleagues recall she would often sleep overnight in her lab.

Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A., President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health says, “Dr. Kalia was one of my neuroscience teachers when I was in medical school.  She could take the most mundane material and personalize it a bit so you remembered her speaking the words when you took the test.  Up until the day she died, she was the best in all of us who choose academic medicine as our vocation.  Whenever I would ask her about research or science, she would start to smile and tell me what excited her.  Every time we lose one of our research faculty members such as Madhu, one star in the Jefferson sky goes dark.” 

Her kindness and generosity will be missed among Jefferson faculty, students, and staff.

Friends and colleagues will be invited to services at a later date.

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